Sixers regular season Bell Ringer standings:
James Harden - 4
Tyrese Maxey- 3
Joel Embiid - 2
Welp, it turns out it’s hard to win games when you’re missing your two best players. Without Joel Embiid, missing his third straight game with a non-COVID illness, and James Harden, who will miss a month, the Sixers fell to the Knicks 106-104 at the Wells Fargo Center Friday. Tyrese Maxey’s magic wore off a bit and a cold shooting night doomed the Sixers.
Let’s talk Bell Ringer.
Tobias Harris: 23 points (9 of 15, 3 of 7 from three), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
Doc Rivers said pregame that the team will count on Harris to provide more scoring with Harden out. Harris has seen his role shift more than any player on the Sixers in recent years, and he had to turn back the clock against the Knicks Friday. While the Sixers had a dreadful shooting night as a team, Harris was efficient. The most encouraging thing is that Harris was still firing from three despite being asked to carry more of a scoring load. It was a promising performance for Harris as Harden’s absence is just beginning.
Paul Reed: 2 points, six steals, four rebounds, 2 blocks
As the stat line indicates, Reed wreaked havoc on the defensive end all night.
During a stretch in the third quarter, Reed and Matisse Thybulle’s activity level kept a poor defensive lineup (alongside Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz and Georges Niang) afloat. Rivers was forced to use Bball Paul Friday with Embiid out and Montrezl Harrell getting the start. P.J. Tucker played just 25 minutes, perhaps an indication that Doc is (wisely) watching the 37-year-old’s minutes.
Though I think we’d all agree that Rivers’ decision to use Harrell and Reed at the same time late in the game was a head scratcher.
Montrezl Harrell: 14 points, 7 rebounds
Harrell was mostly effective in his 29 minutes of action. He got the start and likely had his best game as a Sixer. He did Montrezl Harrell stuff, providing ridiculous energy and showing off his finishing ability and touch around the basket.
Who is Friday’s Bell Ringer against the Knicks?
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