Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:
Joel Embiid - 6
Tobias Harris - 3
Shake Milton - 1
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
With Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle returning from their contact tracing-related absence, it felt like an embarrassment of riches for the Sixers to suit up 13 players Thursday night against Miami. The Heat were still incredibly shorthanded themselves, so the Sixers were able to jump out to a 73-point first half and coast to an eventual 125-108 victory. While these COVID-affected games are a far cry from the best product the NBA has to offer, it was at least better to be on the other end of one of them for standings-related purposes. Now for the Bell Ringer:
Shake Milton: 31 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover
Shake Milton looked like he spent the last week holed up in some gym by himself doing nothing but taking jumpers. The Sixers’ sixth man showed no rust whatsoever, scoring 19 points before finally missing a shot. It was ultimately a season-high 31 points for Shake on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from 3, and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. He hit every imaginable pull-up jumper, floater, and banked-in drive, while steadily setting up his teammates out of the pick-and-roll and playing solid defense. Who needs James Harden when you already have a much younger three-level scorer?
Ben Simmons: 10 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals, 5 turnovers
Fresh off not getting traded for Harden, Ben became the third-quickest player in NBA history to reach 30 career triple-doubles. While the honorary Andre Iguodala 10-point triple-double isn’t the be-all, end-all, I did like much of what I saw from Ben tonight. He assisted on nine of the Sixers’ 17 made 3s, repeatedly able to drive or back down into the painted area and kick it out right into the shooters’ pockets. Simmons was also responsible for a key stretch in the third quarter, as the Heat had cut Philadelphia’s lead to 12 and were fighting to make a game of it. A steal and slam from Ben, followed by a push in transition and behind-the-legs drop-off pass for a Tobias Harris 3, quickly got the lead back up to 17 and shut the door on any Miami comeback effort.
Tobias Harris: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers
Tobias was another guy who showed no negative signs from his lay-off, finishing 7-of-13 from the field, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc. It wasn’t anything crazy from Harris, just running hard in transition, being in the right locations to sink his spot-up looks in the half-court, or twice wisely recognizing Gabe Vincent didn’t have the size to body him and bullying through him for the easy floater or two-handed dunk. Tobi didn’t miss a beat in continuing his return-to-form campaign under Doc Rivers.
Tyrese Maxey: 15 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers
Maxey eventually quieted down, but he came out of the gates blazing hot. He went a perfect 5-of-5 from the field for 11 points in the first quarter, later hitting his sixth shot as well before missing his final four shots. In addition to being active defensively on the perimeter, which led to two breakaway dunks, Tyrese hit a pair of pull-up mid-range jumpers out of the pick-and-roll. His ability to hit those shots will make him an incredibly dangerous pick-and-roll partner alongside Joel Embiid. Maxey once again showed those flashes that made him a rumored sticking point with Houston in any Harden trade discussion.
Tyrese Maxey has really got going with his pull-up jumper recently. It always helps to have more players who are comfortable attacking off the dribble.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 15, 2021
He has 8 points (4/4 FG) through the first 7 minutes. pic.twitter.com/2pIpAvxP8m
Who is the Bell Ringer in the blowout win over the Heat?
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