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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 67 - Philadelphia grabs third place in the East

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One...two...three seed for the Sixers

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-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 - 18
Jimmy Butler - 9
JJ Redick - 7
Tobias Harris - 3
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1
Corey Brewer - 1
Boban Marjanovic - 1
Mike Scott - 1

The Sixers had no energy in the first half, trailing Indiana by eight points at halftime and looking like they would fall all the way to the fifth place in the East. However, Philly ratcheted up the defense in a big way coming out of the locker room, holding Indiana to 11 points in the third quarter and 30 points total in the second half. With the 106-89 win, the Sixers secured the tiebreaker over Indiana and currently sit in the crucial third place spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Here are your Bell Ringer candidates:

Joel Embiid: 33 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 turnovers

Joel Embiid is back.

Returning to the court after missing eight games with knee tendinitis, the big man looked a bit out of sync early on, but eventually found his footing in a dominant effort. The Sixers defense was light years better with Embiid as the anchor. He took up an enormous amount of space in the lane, deflecting passes and altering shots.

Offensively, Joel looked more and more comfortable as the game progressed. He helped saddle Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis with four fouls apiece early in the third quarter. By the end of the game, he was once again taking it to the hoop off the dribble (including one vicious crossover of Turner) and knocking down jumpers.

Most of all though, Embiid brought showmanship back to the team. After a spectacular and-on finish, Embiid gestured to the crowd, then pointed to himself, yelling “I’m back!” The Sixers missed Embiid’s talent, certainly, but they also missed his fire while he was sidelined.

Welcome back, Joel.

Ben Simmons: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover

With Embiid’s return soaking up much of the attention, Simmons returned to a quieter, fill-in-the-seams role for the Sixers. This can definitely be a good thing, as his one turnover would suggest, and I didn’t miss Ben taking mid-range jumpers just because it’s something people keep saying he needs to do. Instead, he was able to focus on playing quality defense (he was the primary defender on Myles Turner, who only had 6 points), attacking mismatches, and wrecking havoc in transition. Sometimes, seeing Simmons in the open court, the nearest comparison that comes to mind is Dom Toretto engaging the NOS button.

Tobias Harris: 16 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers

Harris was instrumental in the Sixers keeping pace with the Pacers in the first quarter, leading all scorers with nine points across the first 12 minutes. He shot 2-for-5 from 3 for the game, and his spot-up shooting undeniably helps space the floor for everybody else. But what’s incredibly impressive to me is his work off the move. It’s fantastic to watch a 6-foot-8 guy running off a screen to his left, squaring up as a right-handed shooter, and nailing a semi-contested mid-range jumper. Tobias Harris: pure scorer. I also thought he made some nice plays to backtrack and help out on the defensive glass, and set up teammates off the drive.

Mike Scott: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover

With Embiid back on the court and Amir Johnson backing him up, Scott did not have to log any minutes as a small-ball five. While he said he’s comfortable in either role, Scott certainly seemed more effective defensively without having to bang down low as much. Despite missing all three of his attempts from behind the arc, Scott still finished 4-for-8 from the field, making a pair of nice off-ball cuts for lay-ups around the rim. Without question, though, my favorite play of the game involved Scott posting up Bojan Bogdanovic and nailing a turnaround jumper, then putting his hand on his waist to indicate the Pacers wing is too small. You can only get that sort of entertainment with Mike Scott at the 4.

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer for the third-place Sixers?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Joel Embiid
    (1533 votes)
  • 3%
    Ben Simmons
    (54 votes)
  • 1%
    Tobias Harris
    (22 votes)
  • 2%
    Mike Scott
    (38 votes)
1647 votes total Vote Now