Note: No traditional recap post for tonight’s game. Don’t hold back in the comments section.
Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:
Joel Embiid - 7
Tobias Harris - 3
Shake Milton - 3
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Philadelphia welcomed Seth Curry back to the court following his COVID-induced absence, reuniting the opening-night starting lineup that has yet to lose a game this season (now 8-0). The Sixers broke open a close game with a 28-10 run across the latter half of the third quarter to take their first double-digit lead of the game. Propelled by an outstanding performance from Jaylen Brown (game-high 42 points), the Celtics closed to within 103-100 with 4:44 remaining in the game. However, the Sixers quickly responded with a 10-0 run to salt the game away, ultimately winning, 122-110. I know Jayson Tatum wasn’t involved, but two wins over the Celtics in one week sure feels good. Let’s choose a Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 38 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers
Not only do the Celtics need to go back to the drawing board, but they might need a whole new board altogether in figuring out how to slow down Joel Embiid. Despite a relatively slow start after being saddled with two fouls early in the first quarter, Joel put together yet another MVP-caliber performance. His line of 38 points on just 15 shots from the field (11-of-15 FG, 2-of-2 3PT, 14-of-15 FTs) is pretty enough to hang in a gallery. Embiid’s face-up jumper is looking more and more automatic, and he has really perfected every nuance of drawing fouls on the interior. With the playoff-type series of two games in three days against the same opponent, Boston did throw a few new wrinkles in the double teams that caused Joel difficulty (one soft cross-court pass attempt was particularly egregious). But Embiid was ultimately far too dominant, even capping the night off with a stepback 3 inside the final minute to put the nail in the coffin. I’d say Joel earned the second of the back-to-back load management night tomorrow.
Folks, Joel is once again.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 23, 2021
He's got 16 points. Pretty good. pic.twitter.com/zwZWts16WJ
Ben Simmons: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers
Can I have your attention please? The real Ben Simmons finally stood up. Once again looking largely invisible offensively, while playing his usual solid defense, for much of the night, Ben finally turned back the clock in the fourth quarter to happier pre-“we have no problem trading you away” days. Simmons dropped 11 points in the final frame, and was the key factor in that final fourth-quarter surge to hold off a Celtics comeback. Ben scored seven straight Sixers points, then assisted on a Tobias Harris 3, and completed his personal mini-run with a right-handed floater from the middle of the lane. Welcome back, Ben Simmons, impactful offensive weapon!
Tobias Harris: 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers
Tobi was Mr. Automatic on the offensive end, finishing a sparkling 10-of-12 from the field, including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Harris made tough turnaround jumpers and spinning floaters look smooth and easy, and the 3 from the top of the key with just under four minutes left was one of the biggest shots of the game. With backup Mike Scott still sidelined, Tobias also deserves a ton of credit for playing a yeomanlike 41 minutes, six minutes more than the next-highest Sixer.
Matisse Thybulle: 9 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers
Young ‘Tisse seems to be gaining confidence with each passing game. Offensively, Matisse had some nice moments, hitting one of his three 3-point attempts, scoring off a sharp baseline cut, and finishing an acrobatic up-and-under lay-up off the rare baseline drive. Of course, Thybulle only has to be passable offensively, because his defense is his calling card, and he was exemplary on that end Friday night. He twice blocked Kemba Walker 3-point attempts; this play after Kemba had looked to free himself up with a crossover is one of the more remarkable defensive moments I’ve seen in some time.
This was one hell of a block by Matisse Thybulle on Kemba Walker. pic.twitter.com/nuv7GsR2aV— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 23, 2021
Who is the Bell Ringer for the win over Boston?
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