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Sixers Bell Ringer: Clinching the top seed waits at least another night as Heat smoke Sixers

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Note: There is no traditional recap post for tonight’s game.

Sixers Bell Ringer season standings:

Joel Embiid - 26
Tobias Harris - 13
Ben Simmons - 13
Shake Milton - 6
Tyrese Maxey - 3
Matisse Thybulle - 2
Danny Green - 2
Furkan Korkmaz - 2
Dakota Mathias - 1
Tony Bradley - 1

For the first time in weeks, the Sixers got a taste of a strong opponent playing at full strength. They might want to try a different dish. With Philadelphia looking to clinch the first overall seed and Miami fighting for seeding, Thursday night’s game had a playoff-like intensity and chippiness to it. That reality could mean bad news for the Sixers, who played dreadfully in tonight’s 106-94 Miami win, potentially setting up a second-round playoff matchup against the Heat. Nobody in Philadelphia would be looking forward to that series.

Entering tonight, Jimmy Butler had one prior game this season where he made three 3-pointers. Naturally, he made three in a 16-point first quarter, finishing a perfect 4-of-4 on the game, a new season-high. The 3-point disparity was an overall theme beyond just Butler, as Miami went 13-of-35 behind the arc, compared to just 7-of-25 for Philadelphia. Adding insult to injury, Dwight Howard picked up his 16th technical, and will be suspended when the Sixers take another crack at clinching the top seed tomorrow night against the Magic. Sigh. Let’s move on to Bell Ringer.

Tobias Harris: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Tobi was the only member of the starting group with a pulse offensively, getting off to a strong start with 10 points in the first quarter. He had an off night from behind the arc, but scored in his other usual ways. Harris bodied up shorter defenders in the post to sink a couple fadeaways, drained pull-ups and fadeaways, and drove all the way to the rim for the lay-in or one fierce one-handed slam in transition. Not bad in the wake of heartbreak, knowing his BFF has found another.

Shake Milton: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Shake made his return after missing the Pacers game due to knee soreness. He did not have a strong defensive game, making a couple very bad rotations/decisions, and his two steals were right place/right time more than great plays on his part. Still, Milton did some good things on the offensive end of the court, thrice finishing with his left hand on drives to the basket. Some small things to build upon for Shake as he readies to take on a postseason rotation role.

Paul Reed: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 0 turnovers

Reed finished a team-best plus-10 on the evening and was the only Sixer to score at least a point per minute, dropping four points in four minutes (40-year-old Udonis Haslem had game-high honors in that category in his season debut, with a legendary four points in three minutes before getting ejected). Reed’s dunk for his second bucket was one of the rare sparks of joy on the evening. Why wasn’t he in the game for the entire fourth quarter? I feel robbed of eight BBall Paul minutes.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the loss to Miami?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Tobias Harris
    (402 votes)
  • 46%
    Shake Milton
    (568 votes)
  • 20%
    Paul Reed
    (252 votes)
1222 votes total Vote Now