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Sixers Bubble Bell Ringer: T.J. Warren and Pacers spoil Sixers’ restart

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We waited 4.5 months to watch T.J. Warren drop 53 points.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The last time this website ran a Bell Ringer was 100 years ago on March 11, 2020. If you need a reminder of how our ancestors set up this series, you can peruse the longer explanation within the first post of the season. Here were the pre-COVID standings:

Bell Ringer Standings

Ben Simmons - 16
Tobias Harris - 12
Joel Embiid - 12
Josh Richardson - 8
Furkan Korkmaz - 6
Matisse Thybulle - 3
Shake Milton - 3
Al Horford - 2
James Ennis - 1
Raul Neto - 1
Glenn Robinson III - 1

I knew there was a chance a T.J. would break my heart tonight, but I didn’t think it would be T.J. Warren, and I sure didn’t think he would drop a career-high 53 points. The man the Suns sent to Indiana (along with a pick!) for cash considerations scored 29 first-half points and threw dagger after dagger at the Sixers down the stretch like he was Diego from The Umbrella Academy.

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid and Shake Milton got into a heated exchange at the end of the first quarter, which appeared to involve multitude instances of “slap the sh*t out of you”. Yet, through all the ups and downs, the Sixers still found themselves up by 10 points a few minutes into the fourth quarter, before Joel Embiid briefly went to the locker room and everything disintegrated in the time it took Thanos to snap his fingers. Philadelphia had a chance down three with 30 seconds left, but one final 28-footer from T.J. Warren closed the door on Indiana’s 127-121 victory.

Now, Sixers basketball is officially back.

On to tonight’s Bell Ringer candidates:

Joel Embiid: 41 points, 21 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers

Scientists say you know the Sixers are back in their natural habitat when Joel Embiid records a plus-21 plus/minus in a six-point loss. Embiid showed no ill effects from his precautionary absence earlier in the week due to calf discomfort. He was a one-man wrecking crew on the interior, grinding up Myles Turner into a fine paste; Turner was in foul trouble the entire evening and eventually fouled out of the game. JoJo also showed no mercy on 6-foot-7 JaKarr Sampson, who guarded his former teammate for large chunks of the game.

On the other end, it wasn’t quite a top-tier Joel defensive performance, but there were sequences where he made incredible reads and close-outs, and one of his three blocks was a volleyball-style swat of Aaron Holiday that went about 20 feet. You only needed to see Embiid leave the game and watch the Pacers suddenly have three straight waltzes to the rim to recognize the impact he was having on the game.

It’s so Sixers that the team’s star center has a 41-21 night and fans can’t even enjoy it.

Tobias Harris: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 turnovers

Tobi carried over a strong scrimmage session period with an excellent offensive showing in the restart opener. While his 12-of-29 shooting line doesn’t look outstanding, when the Sixers’ offense completely stagnated in the half court (which happened far too often), it was often Harris they turned to in hopes he could create something out of nothing. On many occasions, he was up to the task, bullying his way to the basket or nailing a tough, contested jumper. Tobias even proved he can, in fact, use his left hand, on an and-one drive to the hoop. Toss in some hard work on the offensive glass (four offensive rebounds) and you had to come away pleased with the effort from Harris tonight.

Raul Neto: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers

Sure, it was just two points and three assists, but I think there’s something to be said for Neto stepping up and playing 20 solid minutes when he couldn’t have been thinking he was going to be part of the rotation upon arriving to the gym. Then, Shake Milton spends all his on-court time fouling, getting pickpocketed by T.J. McConnell, or calling his star teammate an m*-f*r, and suddenly Neto is playing crunch-time minutes. Raul was a steady presence and a rare Sixers ball handler who didn’t toss the basketball around like it was a greased bass from the NBA’s stocked lake.

Poll

Who is the Bubble Bell Ringer for the loss to the Pacers?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Joel Embiid
    (742 votes)
  • 4%
    Tobias Harris
    (40 votes)
  • 6%
    Raul Neto
    (51 votes)
833 votes total Vote Now