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Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer: Jay Team dooms Sixers in Game 1 Defeat

Back to the drawing board

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images

If you need a Bell Ringer refresher, check out the first such post of the season. Here are the full season standings, which include the Bubble games:

Final Regular Season Bell Ringer Standings

Ben Simmons - 16
Joel Embiid - 14 (includes 2 Bubbles)
Tobias Harris - 13 (includes 1 Bubble)
Josh Richardson - 9 (includes 1 Bubble)
Furkan Korkmaz - 6
Shake Milton - 4 (includes 1 Bubble)
Matisse Thybulle - 3
Al Horford - 2
Alec Burks - 2 (includes 2 Bubbles)
James Ennis - 1
Raul Neto - 1
Glenn Robinson III - 1
Kyle O’Quinn - 1 (includes 1 Bubble)

Sixers fans had their worst fears realized in Game 1 Monday night. Without Ben Simmons and, to a lesser extent, Glenn Robinson III, Philadelphia did not have enough defensive options to match up against Boston’s star wings. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown torched the Sixers for 32 and 29 points, respectively, which was more than enough for Boston on a night Philadelphia lost the turnover battle, 18-7.

Although the Sixers closed the third quarter on a 13-0 run to retake the lead, the Celtics answered a few minutes later with a 9-0 run of their own to create enough breathing room for themselves down the stretch. After the 109-101 defeat, the Sixers are back to square one as to how to slow down the Jay team. Game 2 comes Wednesday night, but first, let’s select a Playoff Bell Ringer.

Joel Embiid: 26 points, 16 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images

Joel came out of the gates red hot, tallying 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter. It looked like the “Embiid carries shorthanded Sixers team to a series win” storyline might become a reality. Daniel Theis could do nothing to slow down Embiid, whether the Sixers star big man was posting up into a hook shot, stepping back for a jumper, or ripping through for a ferocious baseline dunk.

Unfortunately, Embiid’s production slowed down from there, likely due to some combination of his wearing down, Boston adjusting with smarter double teams, and the Sixers poor guard playmaking not helping to put Joel in a position to succeed. Enes Kanter also had some success on the other end in crashing the offensive glass. It was still an extremely solid overall effort from Joel, but not the transcendent performance they’ll likely need from him.

Matisse Thybulle: 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 0 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images

In his playoff debut, Matisse played his role to perfection. He mostly kept out of the way offensively, while hitting one of his two 3-point attempts and making a sharp cut to finish at the rim off an Embiid pass. Defensively, though, Thybulle was the only guy who looked to have a prayer of slowing down Jayson Tatum. He mostly kept the Celtics star in front of him, forcing some tough, mid-range looks. Per usual, Matisse pulled off some of his disruptive plays as well with three stocks. Brett Brown toyed with the idea of starting the rookie in Game 1 before opting to go back to the usual starting five (post-Simmons injury edition). Game 2 might be the time to pull the trigger.

Alec Burks: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Alec Burks’ emergence was probably the biggest surprise for the Sixers during the seeding games, and the question was whether it would carry over to this series when the intensity ramps up and Boston is running around with a plethora of quick, long-limbed defenders. So far, so good for Burks, who provided his usual dose of instant offense off the bench. The vet was able to find his spots, get to the free throw line, and generally did not look the least bit afraid of the moment. That’s all you could really want from your microwave scorer.

Tobias Harris: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover

In the first half, Harris looked like he was on his way to an incredibly efficient night. He was 4-of-5 from the field and seven of his game-high eight assists came in the first two periods. Harris did a terrific job of driving into the defense just enough to draw an extra defender and open up a passing lane on the kick-out for a teammate; a handful of his assists resulted in big 3-pointers. Unfortunately, the outside shot abandoned Tobi in the second half, as he went 2-of-10 from the field after halftime, including 0-of-3 from downtown. The Sixers could have really used some big buckets from him in the guts of the game, but it was not to be.

Josh Richardson: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images

Any “Josh Richardson decides to dribble” sequence causes as much anxiety for Sixers fans as a British crime drama, but there were stretches where his shot-making kept the team in the game. He scored the last eight Sixers points of the first half to allow the Sixers to stay within six points heading into the locker room at a time when it looked like Boston might be poised to break the game open. Richardson is clearly not a suitable choice to mark Tatum, but he did start to have some success later in the game at defending Kemba Walker. With the Sixers needing every able-bodied wing at their disposal, Richardson will have to be out there hitting shots, and he at least knocked some down tonight.


Who is the Playoff Bell Ringer in the Game 1 loss?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Joel Embiid
    (273 votes)
  • 17%
    Matisse Thybulle
    (87 votes)
  • 16%
    Alec Burks
    (82 votes)
  • 2%
    Tobias Harris
    (10 votes)
  • 7%
    Josh Richardson
    (35 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now

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