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Sixers Bell Ringer: Without Embiid, Sixers regain home court advantage with Game 3 win

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Turns out the Sixers like playing the heels

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Postseason Bell Ringer Recipients
Game 1: Jimmy Butler
Game 2: Ben Simmons

Sixers fans learned just prior to Game 3’s tip-off that Philadelphia would be without star center Joel Embiid. Starting in his place was April acquisition Greg Monroe, and while that didn’t work out too great for the Sixers, nearly everything else did. Philadelphia shot 48.4 percent from the field, and 40.7 percent from 3, in a 131-115 victory.

The win means the Sixers have regained home court advantage, and with a 2-1 series lead, they also have the opportunity to put a stranglehold on the first round Saturday in Game 4 (when hopefully, Embiid will be able to return). Here are your Game 3 Bell Ringer candidates:

Ben Simmons: 31 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 3 turnovers

Faced with trolling “Missing” posters from Brooklyn fans, and trash talk of being “average” from the decidedly average Jared Dudley, Simmons was anything but average in a tremendous Game 3 performance. Nets fans in the Barclays Center booed Simmons on every touch, but he dominated in every phase of the game.

Transition? How about a Giannis-esque two-handed dunk from a step inside the foul line.

Half court? Simmons shot 11-of-13 from the floor, scoring on a bushel of right-handed finishes, and rolls to the basket when he shifted to point-center in the closing minutes.

Even the foul line? That’s right! Ben Simmons shot 9-of-11 from the foul line, killing Brooklyn’s last-gasp Hack-A-Ben chances.

Like Game 2, Ben started out the game aggressively, setting the high-energy tone for the team with eight points and two assists in the first quarter. He also had a knack of coming up with big plays in the closing moments of quarters: Simmons closed out hard to block a Caris LeVert 3 near the end of the first, and threw down a powerful putback dunk right before halftime.

Simmons did it all Thursday night. As for Jared Dudley? Maybe average is a little too kind for him.

Tobias Harris: 29 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers

With the team’s main offensive hub sidelined, Harris filled the void by attempting a team-high 19 field goals. To the delight of Sixers fans everywhere, Tobi made those extra shots count in a big way, hitting 11 of his field goal attempts, including a pristine 6-of-6 mark from behind the arc. The final results were playoff career-highs of 29 points and 16 rebounds for Harris.

The outside shooting is obviously manna from heaven for a Sixers team that only has two willing 3-point shooters in the starting lineup. I also liked Harris recognizing the smaller D’Angelo Russell guarding him, and working himself into high-percentage short jumpers in the paint.

Don’t overlook the rebounding, though. With no Joel down low, and Ben occupied with Russell on the perimeter defensively, the job of vacuuming up all those Brooklyn misses fell to Tobias, and he stepped up admirably. I know every great Landry Shamet game makes people think Elton Brand overpaid a bit in the trade, but Game 3 is a perfect example of why Tobias Harris was brought to Philadelphia.

JJ Redick: 26 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover

Much was made about the Sixers’ huge 51-point third quarter in Game 2, and JJ Redick must have thought he could single-handedly duplicate the effort in Game 3. In Thursday night’s third quarter, Redick went off for 16 points, draining 4-of-6 3-pointers (he ended the night 5-of-9).

The Brooklyn resident certainly looked to enjoy the short commute into the office for a change. He ran Brooklyn defenders ragged, and skillfully knocked down a couple of his shots after pump-faking to let a Net fly by, and then resetting for an open look. Redick also did a solid job defensively on Joe Harris once again; Harris was a game-worst minus-27, shooting 2-of-7 from the field and 0-of-4 from 3.

Boban Marjanovic: 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers

Boban’s mid-range mastery in Game 2 translated to fine work at the foul line in Game 3; the big man shot a perfect 8-of-8 at the charity stripe Thursday night. Playing just 18 minutes amidst foul trouble, Boban was a problem for Brooklyn on the glass, snagging four offensive rebounds, and showed off nice hands to collect a pass in traffic on a couple occasions. Even his fouling out with seven minutes to go turned out to have a wonderful silver lining, as we got to see Simmons unleashed as a ruthless, rolling small-ball five. Most of all, though, you have to love Boban for shooting a one-handed jumper right up and over Jared Dudley’s head.

Jimmy Butler: 16 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover

Butler assumed the backup point guard role heading into Game 2, and since then, he has recorded 14 assists against just a single turnover. Jimmy has such a calming, professional feel to his game; he expertly probes the defense to work himself into efficient, short mid-range looks or create dump-offs to teammates around the basket or flanking the perimeter. He’s also still the team’s best option to create something out of nothing in the half court — I mean, look at this witchcraft.

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer for Game 3?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Ben Simmons
    (1223 votes)
  • 22%
    Tobias Harris
    (368 votes)
  • 1%
    JJ Redick
    (21 votes)
  • 2%
    Boban Marjanovic
    (37 votes)
  • 1%
    Jimmy Butler
    (17 votes)
1666 votes total Vote Now