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Joel Embiid dominates in back-to-back wins against the Hornets

The big fella is crushing it.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The classic midweek Hornets doubleheader is in the books. The Sixers racked up two Ws against Charlotte this week, finishing them off with a 110-106 victory tonight. Was it too close for comfort? Absolutely, but I have that feeling every single time I watch them. The Sixers move to 14-11, looking to improve their place in the Eastern Conference standings as this team finally gets healthy. Well, at least as “healthy” as a Philadelphia 76ers team can be.

Here are my ramblings from the game that was:

- These are Joel Embiid’s points, rebounds and assists in the six games since he’s come back from health and safety protocols:

42-14-3

16-13-5

13-18-6

28-12-4

43-15-7

32-8-4

I was so impressed with Embiid’s development as a passer early this season in Ben Simmons’ absence, working as the Sixers’ offensive fulcrum. It’s an element to his game that Sixers fans have only seen glimpses of in years past.

Whenever Embiid misses time, I’m always so anxious he’s going to have to spend some time shaking off the rust. After dealing with something as serious as COVID, Embiid stuffing the stat sheet as emphatically as he has been is nothing short of incredible.

- I’m one to overemphasize guys playing back in their hometown. It adds some flavor to an otherwise random Wednesday night game in December. Seth Curry returned to Charlotte, where he saw his father Dell turn into one of the league’s premier sharpshooters in the ‘90s. Like father, like son (and that other son isn’t too bad himself), as Curry was 4-of-8 from deep for 23 points total. I write this every single time I talk about the Sixers, but the team is undermanned at guard with Simmons out. Curry isn’t a point guard in the purest sense of the position, but he’s been damn good this season and the Sixers would be absolutely lost without his ability to get buckets. He’s playing the best ball of his career in his age-31 season. He had a true shooting percentage of 62.8 percent going into tonight. I love the dude.

- If I ignored everyone he and his wife follow on Instagram, I’d love to trade Tobias Harris for Gordon Hayward, who had 31 points and seven assists tonight. Hayward’s been low-key very good in his two-season stint in Charlotte after getting written off a tad after his injury-plagued tenure with the Celtics.

- Do the refs just hate Andre Drummond? I imagine some Sixers fans hate Drummond, but they’re allowed to. Everyone hates the refs though. That delay of game they called on Embiid near the end of regulation? Are you serious? There’s an epidemic in sports right now with refereeing. The tampering nonsense in the NFL is insane. Double-technicals are a waste. Do refs believe that people tune in to these games to watch them? All referees have main character syndrome.

- I really wish Shake Milton’s buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter counted. Have the Sixers ever hit a buzzer beater? Remember that insane Embiid buzzer beater that didn’t count last season? It’s one of the wildest moments I’ve ever seen on a basketball court and it won’t show up in the annals of hoops history. Time is a fake concept. Nothing is real.

- I care about sports uniforms and court designs more than any normal human being should. Like, a lot. Hell, I ranked all of this season’s City Edition uniforms when they dropped for LB. The Sixers’ red jersey and shorts combo is an abomination. In my newsletter last month, I ranked all 15 uniforms currently in use by the four major sports teams in this city. Guess what came in dead last? These bad boys.

Now, they’re an upgrade over the previous iteration of red jerseys where it looked like it said “Sexers” across players’ chests. I don’t know how that got through several levels of inspection and a company worth over a billion dollars thought it was okay to display them in public. Whatever. They stink.

The Sixers otherwise have great uniforms. Everyone’s been fawning over their Spectrum-themed City Edition uniforms and rightfully so. I had them at the top of my aforementioned list. The Sixers’ blue and white looks rated highly as well.

When Nike took over from adidas as the NBA’s uniform manufacturer, things got all out of whack. Traditionally, home teams wore white. I obviously get the need to showcase different alternate jerseys and whatnot, but it’s so clashing and aesthetically unpleasing at times when a game features two teams wearing high-resolution colored uniforms.

- The Hornets have perhaps the best uniform-logo-court combination in the entire sport. Their teal jerseys are just so perfect that they function well enough as a home jersey. During the franchise’s peak in the ‘90s, they always wore teal at home and purple on the road, so there is precedent for it even in an era where white was the go-to color choice for home teams. They were the embodiment of the funky, vibrant decade and an entire generation adores those vibes. Long story short: the terrible red uniforms of the Sixers clashed horrifically with the Hornet’s teal uniforms. Just wear white next time. My eyes hurt. Maybe I’m just old and cranky? Do I need new glasses? I don’t even have vision insurance. Does Nike want to pay for that so I can cope?

- It feels like the Sixers play the Hornets 25 times every season. At any single moment, there is a Sixers-Hornets game being played somewhere out there across the multiverse. Embiid averages 42-15-6 in all multiverse Hornets games.