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Five Figures: Sixers score with efficiency in Joel Embiid’s return

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Below are the Five Figures for the Sixers 115-104 victory over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday evening.


The Sixers shot 73.1% at the rim (within 4 feet of the basket) on 26 attempts, per Cleaning The Glass. A high conversion rate at the hoop would be expected by most upon Joel Embiid’s return. But it’s interesting that Embiid is responsible for just 3 of the Sixers’ 26 attempts at the cup. The Sixers’ received contributions in this regard from two unlikely sources in Raul Neto (19 points) and Shake Milton (11 points), who combined for a perfect 6-for-6 at the rim.

Milton relied on his craftiness to score, using his dribble to get inside on defenders.

Neto took advantage of dribble hand offs and screens to get going downhill and give himself just enough space to lay the ball through the hoop.


The Sixers got to the line against the Warriors and made the most of their trips with a free throw rate of 24.7, per Cleaning The Glass. (That’s their highest single game rate in their last 13 contests and ranks in the 74th percentile for single game FT Rate this season.) In other words, the Sixers scored from the free throw line at a pace of about 25 points for every 100 field goals they attempted. Ben Simmons, who struggled from the field (4-11) but found a way to make up for it by getting to the line, deserves a lot of credit. His 10 free throw attempts led the Sixers, as did his 9 makes. Across his last 5 games, Ben is shooting 70.2% on 9.4 FTA per game. The Sixers finished Tuesday’s game 20 for 26 FT as a team.


Joel’s return came much to the relief of the Sixers’ halfcourt offense. His 24 points on a highly efficient 9 of 13 from the floor undoubtedly contributed to the Sixers 1.056 points per play in the halfcourt, per Cleaning The Glass. The Warriors on the other hand scored just .867 points per play in the halfcourt. Philly finished with a 58.6% eFG (per CTG), hitting over half their shots from inside the arc.

Joel Embiid’s shot chart vs. GSW

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Matisse Thybulle did not register a steal or a block in 23 minutes of play. It’s just the 8th time this season that the rookie has failed to swat a shot or force a turnover in a game and just the 2nd time since the month of November. These numbers are not meant to diminish Thybulle’s play, rather to serve as a rare example of when Mathief showed mercy for his opponent. You caught him on a good day, Golden State. Next time, he might not be so altruistic.

9 minutes

Zhaire Smith made his 2nd straight appearance, which also happened to be his 2nd appearance on the season. In 9 minutes of play, Zhaire had 3 points (1-5 FG/0-2 3PT/1-2 FT) , 1 rebound, and 1 steal. While his line was modest and his shooting percentage poor, there are some positives to takeaway for Smith. For one, he’s trending up the rotation in Josh Richardson’s absence, giving him his first real opportunity to carve out a role since being drafted in 2018. On the court, he looked comfortable picking his spots to score, attempting two triples (both misses) and two dunks (one of which was a miss on an alley-oop attempt), plus a midranger (for which he created some space off the dribble) that was forced due to an expiring shot clock.

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