Note: No traditional recap post for tonight’s game. Unleash all your comments here.
Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:
Joel Embiid - 6
Tobias Harris - 3
Shake Milton - 2
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Haunted all night by turnovers (22 total) and subpar 3-point shooting (7-of-25), the Sixers trailed Memphis by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter. They fought back, however, and closed to within a single point inside the final minute of the game. With the ball for a final possession, the Sixers had a chance to win, but Tobias Harris accidentally stepped out-of-bounds along the baseline. After Ja Morant hit one of two free throws, a hurried Tyrese Maxey 3 was off the mark and Philadelphia fell to the Grizzlies, 106-104.
Shake Milton: 28 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers
What can be said about how good Shake is playing right now? Fresh off a season-high 31 points two nights earlier, the Sixers’ sixth man was once again far and away the best player on the court. When the Grizzlies’ lead ballooned to a game-high 14 points early in the fourth quarter, it was Shake who scored the next 11 Sixers points to do his best to keep the team in the game. Milton is hitting every imaginable pull-up jumper, floater, and contorted drive to the rim, masterfully changing the pace of his dribble and keeping defenders off-balance. Memphis started throwing two players at Shake to trap him outside the arc, which flustered him for a play or two, but he eventually started figuring it out, including one smooth split of the double-team. I really wanted Shake to have a chance to play hero on the pivotal final possession, but he surprisingly didn’t get a touch.
Tobias Harris: 21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers
Tobias struggled with his shot for much of the night, but stepped up late in the fourth, going on a personal 6-0 run to pull the Sixers within one point with a little over a minute left. The surge moved Harris’ line from the floor up to a workable 7-of-17. The turnovers weren’t great, particularly the final one with the game on the line, but a perfect 7-of-7 night from the foul line boosted Tobias’ efficiency. If he’s still dropping 21 points on a night he isn’t quite on his game, you feel a lot better about Tobi’s newly rediscovered ceiling.
Matisse Thybulle: 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers
As we’ve come to expect, Matisse made a handful of impactful defensive plays, showcasing his particular blend of length, athleticism, and hustle. His forceful block of Tyus Jones along the baseline really made you sit up and take notice. However, Thybulle also had a nice little game on the offensive end, going 2-of-4 from behind the arc and even finishing with a finger roll off the drive. After a really sluggish start to the start, Matisse finally seems to be getting comfortable, which is good news for the Sixers’ bench depth.
Note: Ben Simmons may have been one assist shy of a triple-double, but I am not including him here. The seven turnovers were awful, and aside from one good stretch in the first half, he was weirdly passive all game. Embiid was out and Simmons had no excuse not to step up his aggressiveness and repeatedly attack. Gotta be much better, Ben. I don’t even care about the airballed 3.
Who is the Bell Ringer in the loss to Memphis?
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