For the Sixers, it was a wire to wire victory over the Hornets, to make it twelve straight wins over the club from Charlotte. It’s s a fun start to the new year. The 5-1 Sixers have the best record in the entire Eastern Conference now! And it appears the players are enjoying themselves, something we did not see a ton of last season. The ball is moving, it’s finding the 3 point shooters, and it’s finding the cutters. The young players are being relied upon and they’re helping too.
Tobias Harris has looked like a man possessed recently. He has put up a game high plus-minus in three consecutive games now:
Three consecutive games where Tobias Harris was a game high +-.— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) January 3, 2021
+22 vs Hornets to go with 24 pts 4 steals 3 blocks 6 dimes 9 boards 4-7 from 3 with a couple one handed tomahawks.
Game high +30 vs Orl w/ 20, 9 and 3, 3-4 from deep.
+21 vs Raps w/ 26, 2 stl 2 blk
The buzz word around Harris recently has been “decisive.” Doc Rivers, who was Harris’ coach for some of the best ball the Long Island Native has ever played in Los Angeles back in 2018, said he wants Harris to make quicker decisions, and the message seems to have landed. He’s jacking up contested triples and hitting them, he’s seeing the open shooters a bit more, and he’s really getting defensive with a surplus of blocks and steals recently. He threw down a tomahawk tonight too.
TOBIAS HARRIS ON THE ENTIRE CITY OF CHARLOTTE MY GOODNESS pic.twitter.com/A003aDbRlL— Josh Reynolds (@JoshReynolds24) January 3, 2021
If he keeps this up and the Sixers keep winning he’ll certainly have a shot at the All-Star game.
Ben Simmons was marvelous. You often think of the term floor general as pertaining to the offense, say a player like Chris Paul telling players where to go and who to screen for. But Simmons, in my humble opinion, has a way of redefining this phrase. He just seems like the floor general on both ends. He’s a menace in passing lanes, and even when he's not getting steals or blocks or deflections to ignite breaks, his rangey limbs just cause half court offenses to sputter and make mistakes. Like Harris, he too filled up the box score with 15 points, a block, a steal, 11 dimes, 12 boards, and knocked down 3-5 from the line.
Danny Green broke out of a shooting slump to drill 3-6 from deep. And new sharp shooter Seth Curry was h.o.t. himself draining 3-6 from afar as well.
Of course Joel Embiid was a handful, and put in 19 points, with a block, a steal and 14 rebounds, but perhaps most impressive, he has continued to look like an improved and more willing passer, wracking up 4 dimes:
Lovely ball movement from the Sixers, kicked off by Embiid passing out of a double team. pic.twitter.com/yeGzVEkAa7— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 3, 2021
The game was closer than the final score at times. Former Celtic, and Sixers tormentor, Terry Rozier dropped 35. Death, taxes, and Hornets “water bug” guards putting up numbers on the Sixers. And LaMelo Ball really did look impressive. This kid has “it.” He’s big, he makes great passes, his jumper is further along than his brother Lonzo’s was at this point, and he finished a few times over Embiid around the rim with some slithery moves. Very impressive player.
Tyrese Maxey hit his first 3. Shake Milton stayed efficient, scoring 18 points on just 13 shots, with an assist to boot.
Good to see Tyrese Maxey getting up a quick 3.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 3, 2021
The first 3-pointer of his NBA career. pic.twitter.com/Oi2tby3fL2
But the good guys got the win, and improve to the top record in the east. Bet ya didn’t expect that, even if it is only 6 games in. Fun times. Look at you, already loving 2021.