Sixers Bell Ringer season standings:
Joel Embiid - 25
Tobias Harris - 13
Ben Simmons - 11
Shake Milton - 6
Tyrese Maxey - 3
Matisse Thybulle - 2
Danny Green - 2
Furkan Korkmaz - 2
Dakota Mathias - 1
Tony Bradley - 1
Yet again, the Sixers caught an opponent without a good chunk of the talent on their roster, as the New Orleans Pelicans were playing without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, plus a handful of other regulars. So when Philadelphia led by 17 points near the half, you figured it was going to be another empty the bench night. 25 minutes max for the starters, Daryl Morey tweeting out Paul Reed-related mud gifs, you know the drill. Instead, the Sixers gradually let the Pelicans back into the game over the course of the third quarter, and New Orleans would lead by as many as seven points in the fourth. Fortunately for seeding purposes, Philadelphia answered with an 8-0 run and would eventually hang on for the 109-107 victory. The magic number for the first overall seed is down to two over Brooklyn, and three over the Bucks, who have actually moved a tiebreaker ahead of the Nets for second place in the standings. Let’s get to Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 37 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers
Willy Hernangomez, Jaxson Hayes, step right up, you’re the next contestants on “Joel Embiid chews you up and spits you out.” As has often been the case these season, young opposing bigs are little more than a speed bump on Embiid’s way to a big night. Give the star center a little space, and he’ll the mid-range face-up jumper. Try to body him up, and he’ll throw his weight around until you’re flailing under the basket and he’s going up for the dunk or lay-in. If he’s feeling generous, Embiid will stop a few feet from the hoop and flip in a hook shot. As if that all wasn’t unfair enough for the opposition, Joel also shot 3-of-4 from downtown. Embiid’s defense wasn’t up to his usual standards tonight, but it did a great job when switched onto Eric Bledsoe on the final play of the game, helping to force the turnover so that New Orleans didn’t even get a final shot off.
casual 23-point first half for Joel Embiid: pic.twitter.com/KYhy4SsEyX— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 8, 2021
Seth Curry: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers
I’m not going to write VOTE SETH FOR BELL-RINGER as my co-host Daniel Olinger jokingly suggested on the latest episode of the Talking About Podcast, but Curry certainly had yet another strong game amidst a string of them. Seth hit three or more 3s for the fourth straight game, finishing 4-of-8 from behind the arc. It’s not just spot-ups, though, as the offseason trade acquisition has been dipping into the swagger well lately, flashing high degree-of-difficulty pull-ups, stepbacks, and floaters. Anything to draw more attention to Seth as a shooting threat, with the subsequent gravity bump, is welcome. Aside from the shooting, Curry correctly made the extra pass to find Tobias Harris in the corner for the game-winner.
Tobias Harris: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover
On the whole, it was a middling 7-of-16 shooting performance for Tobias, but he again stepped up when this team needs him most: the fourth quarter. Harris scored eight points in the final frame, canning a confident in-rhythm 3 in transition to cut the Pelicans’ lead back down to one with seven minutes left, sinking a sweet little left-handed floater in traffic, and, of course, nailing what would prove to be the game-winning 3 from the corner with a little over one minute remaining. I’m not sure where this Sixers team would be without Tobias’s clutch performances this season, but I’m certain it wouldn’t be first place.
George Hill: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover
Hill was easily the best bench player for Philadelphia tonight, reaching double figures for the second time as a Sixer. George did excellent work as a ball handler, scoring on a pull-up out of a high-screen pick-and-roll, and sinking a floater coming downhill off a DHO with Dwight Howard. Then, he also hit a corner 3 in the fourth quarter off a pass from Ben Simmons. The game showed off Hill’s malleability in different lineups, able to succeed as either a lead guy with the second unit or off spot-ups alongside the stars. We’ll see more of him come postseason time.
Ben Simmons: 8 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers
Yeah, Ben doesn’t score to many people’s liking, but a good chunk of the Sixers’ offensive success comes courtesy of him pushing the pace and creating opportunities for others. Simmons assisted on another five 3-pointers, including the Hill and Harris 3s a minute apart in the fourth quarter to let the steam out of the Pelicans’ big surge ahead. He did make an important floater in the lane with about four minutes left in the game as the teams were flip-flopping the lead, and the bullying steal of Lonzo Ball right before halftime was great fun, as well.
Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over New Orleans?
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