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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 59 - Philadelphia extinguishes Heat

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For one night, Joel Embiid’s absence did not cost the Sixers

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For a refresher on what constitutes a Bell Ringer, please reference the initial post.

Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 21
Ben Simmons - 16
Jimmy Butler - 8
JJ Redick - 6
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1
Corey Brewer - 1
Tobias Harris - 1

The Sixers jumped out to an early 11-point lead, but eventually found themselves trailing by five points with just inside of nine minutes remaining in the game. However, a small-ball lineup with Mike Scott, and then Ben Simmons, at the 5 propelled Philadelphia to a 17-6 run over the next four minutes; the Sixers would hang on for the 106-102 victory over Miami. Here are your Bell Ringer candidates:

Boban Marjanovic: 19 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers

It would appear Hassan Whiteside’s Philly funk isn’t limited to facing Joel Embiid. With the Sixers star center sidelined by knee soreness, it was Boban Marjanovic’s turn to reduce the Heat big man to a bewildered mess. Boban was an absolute monster in the early going, catching lobs and showing off a soft touch around the basket to tally 11 points and 7 rebounds in the first 8 minutes of the game. Brett Brown said he had wanted to get a look at Boban’s conditioning, but it didn’t appear to be an issue:

“He kept telling me he was fine and the game spun out in that first period and he was really good.”

Boban finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds in the first half, and though the game got away from him a bit when Miami went small, he checked back in during the game’s final minutes and made a couple key plays. If I had one gripe, it would be that Boban isn’t strong with the ball in his hands, having it knocked away by much smaller players (obviously) for a few of those five turnovers. Overall, you couldn’t have asked for more in his first start as a member of the Sixers.

Ben Simmons: 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers

The Sixers made their key run in the fourth quarter with Ben playing the 5, showing how valuable it is to have the versatility of your starting point guard able to play up and down the entire lineup. Simmons also scored 10 of the team’s 16 third quarter points, serving as his squad’s only source of offense when everything else had absolutely stagnated. Ben discussed how he made a point to be aggressive:

“Yeah, I was just a little frustrated with how the game was going, so I tried to take it into my own hands in terms of being more aggressive and getting to the rim and scoring.”

He dominated Justise Winslow on the block, and had one of those plays where you see something just click for him in the open floor as he realizes the opposition has no chance of stopping him. Simmons acquitted himself well on a night he exchanged jerseys with Dwyane Wade.

Jimmy Butler: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers

Brett Brown indicated prior to the game that he expected Butler would assume more of the offensive burden with Embiid out. That’s how things played out in the fourth quarter, anyway, as Jimmy drew four fouls in a 3-minute period (he went a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line on the game). Brown articulated what makes Butler so dangerous with the ball in his hands:

“He’s just that physical. I think that when he can get a shoulder by people, it’s over. It’s hard to recover on that. When he can’t get a shoulder by somebody and he just sort of initiates shoulder on chest, he’s still able to create space.”

Whether it was getting to the basket himself, or drawing the defense and finding open teammates (Hi Boban at the rim!), Point Jimmy was in full effect. They’ll need him to step up in a similar fashion throughout JoJo’s absence.

Tobias Harris: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover

Along with Butler, Harris was another guy who stepped up big in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting (2-for-2 from downtown) in the frame. It was exactly what Elton Brand must have envisioned in the months leading up to the trade deadline, players who can create their own offense in the guts of a tough game. It’s been just five games with Tobias on board, but he looks like an absolutely perfect fit with this group.

T.J. McConnell: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 0 turnovers

T.J. played just three minutes in the first half and 11 minutes total, but he provided a visible spark to help turn things around when the Sixers were letting this game slip away from them. I’ll let teammate Tobias Harris describe McConnell’s performance:

“He just brings great energy, a great spirit to the way he plays and he just wants to do whatever he can to make his impact on the game as soon as he hits the floor, so you need guys like that. He’s a selfless type of player who wants the best for his teammates and the team. Even in the fourth quarter, he gave us a huge energy boost with his defense and offense, just being in the right spots out there. I thought he did amazing.”

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer for the win over Miami?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Boban Marjanovic
    (837 votes)
  • 16%
    Ben Simmons
    (227 votes)
  • 3%
    Jimmy Butler
    (53 votes)
  • 13%
    Tobias Harris
    (178 votes)
  • 5%
    T.J. McConnell
    (74 votes)
1369 votes total Vote Now