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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers lose third straight in embarrassing fashion in Detroit

(Insert ‘Not Great, Bob!’ GIF)

Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 32
Tyrese Maxey: 16
Seth Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 6
James Harden: 4
Andre Drummond: 3
Matisse Thybulle: 3
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
Paul Millsap: 1

For most of the night, it looked like we were heading for one of those ‘a win’s a win’ kind of games. The Sixers were playing lethargic, iso-heavy ball, with the Pistons lapping them in terms of hustle. Still, Philadelphia led by six after three quarters. One assumed the superior talent would continue to win out and we could all move on with our lives, only remembering this effort in terms of a W in the standings. Alas, it was not to be, as led by rookie Cade Cunningham (27 points, six assists, four steals), Detroit outscored the Sixers, 29-15, in the fourth quarter, serving the presumed title aspirants possibly their most embarrassing loss of the season, 102-94.

Joel Embiid: 37 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 7 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

No longer the odds-on favorite to win the MVP award, Joel’s case isn’t going to be helped by the Sixers losing to Detroit. But it’s hard to blame the guy who scored nearly 40 percent of his team’s points. The Pistons employed a switch-heavy scheme, and Embiid often wrecked havoc like Godzilla stomping through the villagers. Detroit’s frontline isn’t big too begin with, and they often had no choice but to send Joel to the free throw line, where he shot 14-of-16 on the evening. His 15 third-quarter points briefly looked like it had created enough separation to stave off this eventual disaster. The turnovers were bad, as Embiid’s ball-handling was much sloppier than we’ve come to expect, but I shudder to think where this already listless offense would have been tonight without Joel around to serve as a skeleton key.

Tobias Harris: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

It wasn’t quite “Revenge game Tobias” in Detroit, but he did well tonight with the opportunities afforded to him, shooting 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. That’s more or less the high-end role player stuff you want from Harris in this new arrangement when Joel and James are so often dominating the ball. Both of Harris’ threes were pull-ups from near the top, one off a dribble-handoff and the other following a loose ball recovery. Tobias has now shot 50 percent or better from the field in six straight games. The fact that he looks to have figured things out is one silver lining in what is shaping up to be a terrible week for the Sixers.

Only two options tonight. My sympathies if you joined me in watching this mess of a performance from start to finish.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the loss to Detroit?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Joel Embiid
    (302 votes)
  • 28%
    Tobias Harris
    (122 votes)
424 votes total Vote Now