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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 70 - The Bucks were stopped here (in Milwaukee)

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When unicorns collide, everyone wins

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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

Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 22
Ben Simmons - 19
Jimmy Butler - 10
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 were on the road against the team with the best record in the NBA, the likely league MVP went off for 52 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists, and it still always seemed like Philadelphia had the victory secured. Though Giannis and the Bucks fought hard until the final whistle, the Sixers remained calm, cool, and collected in a 130-125 victory.

Combined with the Pacers’ loss to the Nuggets last night, Philadelphia has now created just a hint of breathing room in their quest for third place in the Eastern Conference. Oh, and the team also clinched a playoff berth with the win and the Hornets’ loss to Miami. Not that you were worried. Here are Sunday afternoon’s Bell Ringer candidates:

Joel Embiid: 40 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover

He powered through multiple defenders to score around the basket. He squared up and drained jumpers in the face of 7-foot Brook Lopez. He made the proper reads when extra defenders came his way, finding open teammates and almost entirely avoiding his turnover bugaboo. Usually the 4th of July is when we see a big fireworks display, but Joel Embiid decided this St. Patrick’s holiday was also ripe for an offensive explosion.

Then, because he’s not one-dimensional, Embiid also had an excellent defensive game. It’s curious to consider in light of Giannis’ 52-point game, but JoJo actually did a pretty good job when he was paired up against the Greek Freak. Much of Giannis’ damage came when Embiid was on the bench, in transition, or matched up against a different defender. Embiid did well to stay with Antetokounmpo and maintain his verticality around the basket. Checking Giannis one-on-one allowed other Sixers defenders to stay at home and largely prevent other Bucks from going off. Embiid also altered a lot more shots around the rim than his one block would indicate.

If I had to nitpick Embiid’s game, I could have done with a few less 3-point attempts during his 4-of-13 outing. But then again, he did knock down the dagger to make it a 7-point game with 35 seconds remaining, so what do I know?

Jimmy Butler: 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers

After sitting out Tuesday’s game for planned rest, Jimmy Butler has returned a changed man, or rather, an unchanged man, reverting back more to his aggressive self fans had seen in his previous NBA stops. Butler was the team’s primary ball handler for much of the half-court action, working his way to the rim, pulling up for jumpers, and drawing contact from the Milwaukee defense both inside and outside the arc. He ended his afternoon 8-of-16 from the field, a perfect 2-of-2 from 3, and 9-of-13 from the foul line (marking team-highs in both makes and attempts from the charity stripe).

Butler had yet another big performance in the final frame (I’m waiting for the pun-happy denizens of the Disney corporate community to drop a King in the Phourth graphic, or something of that ilk). He dropped 14 points in the fourth quarter, knocking down four shots across a two-minute stretch midway through the quarter to help keep the Bucks at arms-length. Brett Brown had talked a while back about wanting to see more of the Embiid-Butler combination, because he envisioned that pairing being vital in the playoffs. In a playoff-like atmosphere Sunday, that pairing looked dynamite.

JJ Redick: 19 points, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover

This was a weird game for Redick, as it marked his first time as a member of the Sixers when he failed to record a rebound or an assist. However, his primary role is to knock down shots, and knock down shots he did. JJ finished 7-of-10 from the field and a pristine 4-of-4 from downtown, including one heave to bail out an absolute trash fire of a possession for the game’s first points.

Redick also survived Embiid crushing him against the stanchion in the midst of a chasedown block attempt, so points for his resilience.

Mike Scott: 6 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers

The Threegional Manager knocked down a couple 3-pointers, and was active on the offensive glass, but we all know why he’s here.

That is a man who treats his St. Patrick’s Day celebration with the utmost seriousness. Scott is the buddy you have to keep an eye on after your third stop on the bar crawl, to make sure something doesn’t pop off.

Legend.

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer for the win over the Bucks?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Joel Embiid
    (1052 votes)
  • 19%
    Jimmy Butler
    (299 votes)
  • 0%
    JJ Redick
    (12 votes)
  • 12%
    Mike Scott
    (192 votes)
1555 votes total Vote Now