Note: There is no traditional recap post for tonight’s game.
Sixers Bell Ringer season standings:
Joel Embiid - 25
Tobias Harris - 13
Ben Simmons - 12
Shake Milton - 6
Tyrese Maxey - 3
Matisse Thybulle - 2
Danny Green - 2
Furkan Korkmaz - 2
Dakota Mathias - 1
Tony Bradley - 1
On the second night of a back-to-back against the tanking Pistons, the Sixers took the opportunity to rest starters Ben Simmons and Seth Curry. The full squad certainly wasn’t needed early on, as Philadelphia doubled up Detroit in the first quarter, 34-17. Despite shooting just 1-of-11 from 3 in the first half, the Sixers would maintain a double-digit advantage from midway through the second quarter on. The only downside was Matisse Thybulle looking to injure his left hand diving for a loose ball. Matisse briefly re-entered the game, but was reluctant to even touch the ball with that hand. Hopefully he’s OK moving forward, as the Sixers would prevail, 118-104. The team’s magic number is down to two over Milwaukee. Strong Bell Ringer crop tonight, let’s get to it.
Joel Embiid: 29 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover
There were times Joel Embiid wouldn’t play back-to-backs. Now he does so and hardly misses any shots. Embiid went 11-of-13 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line in his 23 minutes against Detroit. JoJo hit about a half dozen fadeaway jumpers, including another Dirk one-legger. He even had an opportunity to bully former teammate Jahlil Okafor with a hook shot deep in the paint. Detroit could do nothing to stop him, and Joel could have probably dropped a 50-burger if this game took place in a more competitive context. Get this man to the postseason healthy so we can see what this fully actualized version of Embiid can do at the highest stage.
Tyrese Maxey: 22 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover
Tyrese received the start with Ben Simmons sitting, and had the most productive game of his young career outside of the 39-point explosion against Denver. First, Maxey was excellent defensively, earning praise from head coach Doc Rivers after the game. He had a Matisse-esque block from behind on Killian Hayes in the first quarter. Meanwhile, offensively, the rookie started off with a couple floaters. OK, impressive, but nothing too new there. Then, he started getting all the way to rim for contorted lay-ins. His seven free throw attempts were a rookie career-high (he sank six). But what really brought the house down was his left-handed thunder dunk in transition in the fourth quarter. Maxey would finish out his night by relocating for a corner 3, something we really haven’t seen out of him before. The 20-year-old has been making a serious case lately to see some postseason minutes.
Dwight Howard: 19 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers
With this performance, Dwight moved ahead of Kevin Garnett for 10th on the all-time list for double-doubles, as he was yet again a wrecking ball on both ends. Howard finished plenty of putbacks and lobs, but of course, his shining moment came late in the third quarter. With the shot clock winding down, Dwight drained a corner 3, then went down the court doing the Carmelo celebration to his forehead to a huge ovation from the crowd. It got even better in the final seconds of that same quarter, when Dwight airballed another 3-pointer attempt, causing Joel Embiid to fall out of his chair laughing. On-court effectiveness, plus entertainment: the total Dwight Howard package.
Matisse Thybulle: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals, 0 turnovers
I have to give Matisse some shine, since it’s possible he could miss an upcoming game or two with that hand injury. Thybulle had three steals in the first seven minutes, picking off a couple lazy passes, and also pulling his Nightcrawler teleportation act to leap in front of a Jerami Grant pass to the corner. After suffering the hand injury collecting his fourth steal, he stole his fifth with just his right hand. I’m not sure why the Sixers put him back on the court in that condition, but good to go Matisse can play All-Defense caliber ball with one hand tied behind his back.
Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Detroit?
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