Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:
Joel Embiid - 2
Dakota Mathias - 1
The Sixers trailed by as many as 14 points, missed just about every shot imaginable in the first half, and saw Joel Embiid grab his right leg and head to the locker room in the third quarter. We’re seen this movie before. But wait, plot twist! Joel Embiid returned to the bench and re-entered the game, looking perfectly fine. Philadelphia went on a 11-0 run to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter. In the guts of the game, the Sixers hit big shot after big shot, and ultimately prevailed, 100-93. Bell Ringer time!
Joel Embiid: 29 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers
Embiid was terrific on both ends of the court tonight, continuing to strengthen the “when Joel plays, the Sixers win” corollary. The Sixers’ star center was a perfect 11-of-11 from the foul line in the first half, serving as the only reason the game was even remotely close. NBA.com’s glossary entry for “efficient offense” is now a clip of Embiid doing the rip-through move when the defender reaches into his air space. Down the stretch, Joel made the right reads and found his open teammates, none bigger than the climatic Seth Curry 3.
Defensively, Joel did yeomanlike work as a rim protector. One play in particular defined how impactful he can be. Stepping up to take a charge, Embiid quickly reacted as Anunoby dished to his man behind him, Aron Baynes. Joel denied him at the rim perfectly, and then continued hustling to collect the subsequent offensive rebound. Immensely glad to know that cramp, or slight hamstring pull, or whatever happened in the third, wasn’t that serious.
Awesome defensive play by Joel Embiid.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) December 30, 2020
He was ready to take the charge against Anunoby, then immediately turned and blocked Aron Baynes' dunk attempt. pic.twitter.com/75EFJtwVdb
Tobias Harris: 26 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers
Speaking of great two-way performances, no one is bemoaning Tobias Harris’ contract tonight (or at least only to themselves very quietly). Tobi got off to a blazing hot start, scoring nine of the team’s first 11 points. All night long, Harris was very decisive, firing away immediately when he had the open look, or recognizing the pump fake was the right play and ducking in for the open elbow jumper. And as well as he played offensively, Tobias was just as solid on the defensive end, getting into passing lanes and putting himself between his man in the rim. Arguably, Tobi’s biggest play of the game was when he broke up at 2-on-1 fast break by himself in the final two minutes (which was probably a foul, but the effort was terrific). Even three-quarters of what we saw from Harris tonight on a regular basis would suit the Sixers just fine.
Seth Curry: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers
Here was the Seth Curry everyone envisioned following the draft night trade, out there draining an enormous dagger 3 to make it a 5-point game with a little more than a minute left. Not only did the best Curry make the biggest shot of the night, but he keeps showing great moves in his capacity as a secondary creator. Curry flashed an absolutely gorgeous behind-the-back pass to find a cutting Simmons for a bucket. I have the feeling this will be the first of many big moments in Seth’s Sixers career.
Ben Simmons: 11 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers
Ben remains incredibly frustrating offensively. He often either shies away from contact and throws up some sort of weak floater, or barrels headlong into the fray like Mike Alstott in search of three yards and a cloud of dust, only to be called for an offensive foul. However, when Ben puts up defensive possessions like this one, I have to include him on the list.
Ben Simmons has continued his elite defense this season.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) December 30, 2020
Excellent possession here on Pascal Siakam. pic.twitter.com/BoaKG3t5kJ
Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Toronto?
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