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Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer: Sixers blown out by Boston in Game 2

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An embarrassing 128-101 defeat is not what Sixers fans were hoping to see tonight

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/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:

Playoff Bell Ringer Standings

Joel Embiid - 1 (Boston - Game 1)

With Brett Brown replacing Al Horford in the starting lineup with Matisse Thybulle, the Sixers got off to a hot start Wednesday, shooting 14-of-23 from the field in a first quarter where they led by as many as 14 points. From there, however, the Celtics really started picking apart Philadelphia’s drop coverage with high pick-and-rolls. Boston could step into wide-open 3s seemingly every possession, eventually hitting 19 triples on a staggering 43 attempts. The Celtics outscored Philadelphia by 14 points in the second quarter, and 15 points in the third, turning what was a tense playoff game into a laugher. After tonight’s 128-101 loss, the season will basically be on the line for Friday night’s Game 3. Based on what we saw tonight, I’m not overly optimistic. Let’s select a Bell Ringer anyway.

Joel Embiid: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game Two Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Embiid stepped his game up after a night of diminishing returns in Game 1. Once again, he came out of the gates on fire, racking up 15 points and three assists in the first quarter. Joel looked much more aggressive fighting for position and rolling hard, while his teammates did a much better job moving the ball around and creating easier passing lanes to feed the big man. Embiid knocked down some jumpers, showed off his crafty footwork down low, and made measured, patient decisions to find his teammates when necessary.

Unlike Monday night, though, Joel kept the heat on Boston as the game progressed. He dropped another seven points in the second quarter, and eight more in the third. Embiid kept battling and earning himself trips to the free throw line; he finished the night 12-of-13 on free throws. This offensive performance was what the Sixers needed from Joel. The question for him moving forward is whether he’ll have the stamina to maintain that production if the team makes the necessary defensive adjustment and has him guard more aggressively out to the arc.

Josh Richardson: 18 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Richardson matched his Game 1 point total with another 18 on the board, but was more efficient in Game 2, shooting 6-of-12 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3. He and Embiid worked the pick-and-roll to some success, and Josh did a better job re-situating himself off the ball to create spacing. There seems to be an intense/erratic line with Richardson lately, and he was on the right side of that line tonight.

Shake Milton: 14 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Shake was roasted, toasted, and burnt to a crisp on the defensive end by Kemba Walker, but he was one of the few Sixers with a pulse offensively. Milton shot 2-of-5 from behind the arc, but also created three baskets for himself off the dribble, nailing a floater, a sweeping left-handed lay-in, and a gorgeous turnaround jumper. Milton has to play better defensively, because Philadelphia needs him out there providing the on-ball creation we saw tonight.

Poll

Who is the Playoff Bell Ringer in the Game 2 loss?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Joel Embiid
    (474 votes)
  • 5%
    Josh Richardson
    (31 votes)
  • 7%
    Shake Milton
    (39 votes)
544 votes total Vote Now