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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers’ supporting cast steps up big in win over Chicago

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Who needs All-Stars?

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 16
Ben Simmons - 7
Tobias Harris - 6
Shake Milton - 4
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons both sitting out due to health and safety protocols after their barber tested positive for COVID-19 last week, things could have easily went sideways in this opener to the second half of the season. Instead, the rest of the Sixers’ roster played a pretty flawless game, crushing Chicago, 127-105, despite getting outproduced from behind the arc as usual. It’s only fitting that on Elton Brand’s birthday, Philadelphia’s depth at the center position played an important role in the victory. On to the Bell Ringer candidates, with apologies to the omissions — it was a terrific team-wide victory tonight:

Matisse Thybulle: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals, 1 turnover

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Matisse was the guy who set the tone early for the Sixers, collecting four steals in the first five minutes of the game, a week’s worth of work for a lot of players. Thybulle was all over the place defensively, even on plays where he didn’t get credited in the box score; one play to alter Wendell Carter, Jr.’s shot at the rim and prevent an easy two points comes to mind. Then, in the second half, Matisse took his talents to the other end of the court, confidently stepping into his shots and draining three 3s. It was a 5-of-5 night from the field with five steals, basically the Matisse Thybulle statline you might find in Sixers fan erotica.

Tony Bradley: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 0 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Sixers are no stranger to having big games from centers against the Bulls this season (see: Joel Embiid’s 50-point game), and Tony Bradley followed in that tradition. In just 22 minutes as a starter, the usual emergency third-stringer went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, showing a soft touch around the rim, tremendous energy on the offensive glass, and even some ball-handling ability in the open court. Bradley also provided Joel-like rim protection, which earned the tip of the cap from the big man himself:

After the game, Doc Rivers credited how hard Bradley works, saying he has lost 25 pounds this season. Good to see Tony have his time to shine this evening.

Tobias Harris: 24 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Tobias didn’t drop the 50 points Doc Rivers joked he wanted from Tobi pre-game, but the Sixers forward shook off an 0-of-5 start to finish with yet another efficient 20-plus-point performance (8-of-15 from the field, 7-of-8 from the foul line). Harris got things going to the basket, getting fouled on a one-handed dunk down the lane that would have buried my co-host Daniel Olinger’s mentions. By the end of his 25 minutes of action, Tobias was nailing absolutely ridiculous stepback jumpers.

Dwight Howard: 18 points, 12 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers vs Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

There were some of the shake-your-head Dwight moments in this contest, the moving screen here, the fouls for tossing opposing players like rag dolls there. But those plays were greatly outnumbered by positive moments from Howard, who channeled his energy into chewing up the glass and enforcing the paint, while also displaying some extremely savvy work as the pick-and-roll roll man. My favorite Dwight play was a post-up, though, with Howard bodying Lauri Markkanen and slamming in his face so hard that all of Finland felt it. All in all, I’ve been loving the Dwight Howard experience this season.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer for the win in Chicago?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Matisse Thybulle
    (865 votes)
  • 22%
    Tony Bradley
    (409 votes)
  • 6%
    Tobias Harris
    (122 votes)
  • 23%
    Dwight Howard
    (432 votes)
1828 votes total Vote Now