Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:
Joel Embiid: 20
Tyrese Maxey: 9
Seth Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 3
Andre Drummond: 3
Matisse Thybulle: 2
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
LeBron James was out with knee soreness. That left Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook to try to snag a big road win in Philadelphia on Thursday. But they’d have to figure out how to do what no other team has been able to do lately, and that’s stop Joel Embiid. Embiid is on a historic run, and despite Davis’ best efforts, scoring a game-high 31 points, to go with 12 boards and four blocks, it wasn’t nearly enough. The Sixers won handily, 105-87. It’s their 13th victory in their last 16 games. They’re as hot as any team in basketball and no one in the league is outplaying Embiid right now.
Let’s sound some chime.
Joel Embiid: 26 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
This was one of those games where it didn’t feel like Embiid was playing his best, but then I looked at the box score and he had totally filled it up. The Lakers seemed determined in this one to make other players beat them so they sent lots of double teams. But Joel could often see them coming ahead of time and kept finding the open man.
At one point in the third quarter, The Process pointed to where he wanted Georges Niang to spot up. Then he drew the double he knew would come. Sure enough, Niang came open and Embiid kicked it out for a big Minivan triple. He saw the whole play unfold before he even made his move.
There were a few moments in that third quarter it looked like Embiid was wincing a bit, following a hard foul by Carmelo Anthony. Joel admitted he was tired recently so the Sixers may want to find a game to buy their franchise player some rest before the All-Star break, ‘cause he won’t be resting during that game.
Tobias Harris: 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 of 5 from distance
Tobias Harris is quietly playing his best ball of the season and it’s a breath of fresh air. Harris dropped 33 points in a win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. He was in his bag again keeping defenders on his hip and getting to short pull ups or taking the quick three when it was there.
Tobias Harris over his last 5 games:— Kevin McCormick (@KevinMcCNBA) January 26, 2022
- 19.8 PPG
- 6.8 RPG
- 3.8 APG
- 52.1% FG
- 54.5% 3P
Matisse Thybulle: 8 points, 4 steals, 1 block
I could have put Georges Niang here because he had 14 points off the bench, draining 4 of 6 from deep. But anytime a player gets five total blocks or steals, it’s pretty impressive to me. And watching this game, some of these by Matisse were of the straight up wow variety.
What a steal from Matisse Thybulle. Wow.— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) January 28, 2022
Thybulle played his typical stalwart defense, he made the flashy play creating turnovers for dunks, and he continues to improve as a cutter on offense. Matisse finding ways to contribute in the half court offense has made Doc Rivers trust in him more, leaving him in spots he might have benched him in the past.
Embiid deserves lots of credit for this too, his improvement as a passer opens up a new dimension for Thybulle offensively.
Tyrese Maxey: 14 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks
Tyrese Maxey doubled over in the points and assists categories, notching a career-high 10 dimes vs. the shorthanded Lakers.
Over the last few games, Maxey is making a good percentage of his threes and has had success creating for teammates. He’ll only continue to grow in popularity in that locker room if this continues. He has 29 dimes over his last four games.
This combination, if it continues, on top of his already strong finishing and transition play, just may vault him into that Most Improved Player conversation.
Below, Maxey sees the open shooter Niang, even before he catches the pass and is able to redirect it quickly for a slick transition dime:
Good extra pass from Maxey, Sixers get a stop and point Embiid brings the ball up the court and hits Maxey who does a great job making the catch then swinging it to Niang for a clean three. pic.twitter.com/31w61sHQDm— Mo Dakhil (@MoDakhil_NBA) January 28, 2022
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