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Sixers Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid must have heard the Jokic buzz, goes ballistic on Bulls

Joel Embiid must have heard people saying Nikola Jokic deserves MVP, ‘cause The Process was simply unstoppable

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 26

Tyrese Maxey: 15

Seth Curry: 8

Tobias Harris: 4

Andre Drummond: 3

James Harden: 2

Matisse Thybulle: 2

Furkan Korkmaz: 1

Charles Bassey: 1

Paul Millsap: 1

James Harden was back in the lineup after a pre-scheduled night off vs. the Heat to keep his hamstrings healthy. It was clear the Sixers missed him Saturday. Joel Embiid and co. managed just 82 points in total the last game.

So they must have been thrilled to get their lead-guard back into the fold and make up some of those lost points Monday.

Philly had too much firepower for Zach LaVine, and DeMar DeRozan in this one, and won comfortably, 121-106. They’ll sweep the season series, 4-0. They’re a half game up on the Milwaukee Bucks for the two seed.

Let’s ring the bell.

Joel Embiid: 43 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Death, taxes, and Joel Embiid BBQing the Chicago Bulls.

Joel admitted he wasn’t content with how he played vs. the Heat. And who knows, maybe he saw everyone talking about Nikola Jokic’s big 46 point overtime win and how Denver’s big man might win MVP again.

Joel didn’t look like he was even in first gear this game but it didn’t matter. He was a beast.

He and Harden combined for 20 points in the first quarter. They picked up where they left of as a dynamic duo. And credit to the team’s halftime orange slicer. The Sixers keep having these huge third quarters, Joel had 19 of his total in that penultimate frame as the team built up a sizable lead.

The MVP favorite hit hesi pull ups, he showed some grab-and-go ability finishing with a step-through jump hook, he had a few put backs, he stuck a three, and he drained 12 of 16 freebies, giving the fans a chance to share who they’d vote for if they could.

Tristan Thompson isn’t exactly a pushover but he had 5 fouls with plenty of time left in the third quarter. There wasn’t much he could do tonight. Joel Embiid was an indomitable force. wire-to-wire.

James Harden: 16 points, 14 assists, 8 rebounds

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Back from his prescheduled layoff, Harden looked reasonably fresh, scooting past his initial defender for layups and kick outs. His shot wasn’t falling (5 of 15 from the floor, 1 of 5 from distance) but he stayed aggressive and gained half court advantages for the team, exploiting the Bulls’ soft, overmatched perimeter coverage. This Bulls team has missed Alex Caruso in the worst way on that end of the floor.

The Beard did have one miscue with Joel on a high screen that resulted in a a turnover. This type of thing, them deciding when it’ll be a pick-and-roll vs. pick-and-pop, should come with time. But they huddled up and smiled about it then made up for it in that second half.

Moves like this, where Harden looks like he’s casually displacing a defender, speak to how he should age pretty gracefully. He doesn’t need top burst to gain separation.

It’s more of a lullaby, then slow-blow-by.

People complain that Harden is a ball-stopping, iso force but the Sixers have been sharing the ball quite a bit since Beard came aboard.

The team’s point-guard, scoring guard extraordinaire displayed terrific chemistry with Georges Niang and with Matisse Thybulle.

He keeps finding Niang beyond the arc, and he found Matisse “Flybulle” as Kate Scott exclaimed on the broadcast:

Credit the Sixers’ rookie broadcaster for having that one at the ready for a Matisse poster.

It almost felt like James decided “OK, I don’t have my shot going let me get everyone else involved.” He even spotted Isaiah Joe open in the corner for a three.

As we knew coming in, Harden playing with shooters is a natural fit. Doc Rivers trotted out a lineup of Harden, Embiid, Niang Shake Milton, and Danny Green at one point and the team proceeded to drain three triples in just over a minute of play. Hopefully we’ll see more lineups like that if Green can come back quickly from the lacerated finger he sustained in this one.

Tyrese Maxey: 17 points, 4 assists, 2 of 5 from three

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Tyrese did most of his damage in the final frame. He hit an open corner three, and he got the entire gym to stand up after a ridiculous, acrobatic continuation finish. It’s pretty exciting that he can have a relatively quiet night and still total 17 points and 4 dimes. This team really seems to have a #bigthree and the buckets come very naturally for Maxey within the flow of this offense. They don’t need to script any isos to get him going. It all sort of just happens. Credit to Maxey, Harden, and Doc Rivers there.

His fit is natural, but this finish was supernatural:

DeAndre Jordan: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Making his Sixers debut, we threw DJ into this poll. He wasn’t gangbusters but Joel had it rolling for 36 minutes (7 less than Jokic’s monster game but who’s counting) so there wasn’t much time for the newest Sixer to make an impact.

At an important interval in the third quarter, Isaiah Joe missed an open corner three but Jordan was there to bat the ball right back out to Niang, who drained his third triple of the night. Half-dime, half board. Good for three points. On the next possession DJ blocked a short-range bunny from Derrick Jones Jr. That was a low-key five-point swing there for those of you tracking backup big single-game-plus-minus. The team broke even during his 10 minutes. That’ll do!

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer Vs. Bulls?

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Joel Embiid
    (1781 votes)
  • 1%
    James Harden
    (28 votes)
  • 0%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (11 votes)
  • 5%
    DeAndre Jordan
    (104 votes)
1924 votes total Vote Now