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Sixers Bell Ringer: Beantown blues for the Sixers ahead of NBA trade deadline

The Sixers had a big chance to steal a road game against their top rival, but brought a poor effort to Boston.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer standings

Joel Embiid - 16
James Harden - 14
Tyrese Maxey - 7
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 2
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

Philadelphia entered the night three games back of Boston in the Eastern Conference, and was catching the Celtics without Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III. The Sixers caught a further break mid-game when Jaylen Brown exited in the second quarter after catching an inadvertent elbow to the face from Jayson Tatum. Alas, all those Boston absences weren’t enough for the Sixers. A bad case of overhelping defensively led to a flurry of wide-open Celtics shots. Boston shot 19-of-35 from three-point range as a team, with the not exactly murderer’s row of Blake Griffin, Grant Williams, and Sam Hauser combining to make 13 triples. The Sixers surely let a great opportunity pass them by tonight in the 106-99 defeat. Now for Bell RInger.

James Harden: 26 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

Harden did an outstanding job orchestrating the offense tonight. His 11-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is great enough, but James should have easily had at least another half dozen assists if guys weren’t missing open looks or being weirdly hesitant to shoot in the first place. Harden was also scoring at all three levels tonight, mixing in the mid-range with efficient long-range bombing (3-of-7 from three) and forays to the rim that often yielded trips to the charity stripe (7-of-8 on free throws). He led the final push for the Sixers in the fourth quarter when they cut if from a double-digit deficit to a one-possession game. James having a big-time offensive game against top competition (even if they were missing a handful of their best defensive players) is certainly a good sign.

Joel Embiid: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

With Boston down its top two defensive bigs, Joel had an all-you-can-eat buffet in the early going. Embiid dropped 14 points in the first quarter, going 6-of-8 from the field, and at one point scoring 10 straight Sixers points in the frame. Then, some frustration led to his getting called for a technical foul in the second quarter while lobbying for a foul call, and the rest of his evening wasn’t nearly as efficient, as he finished 11-of-21 from the field. Not terrible, but not what you’re hoping for when matched against Luke Kornet and Blake Griffin in what you hope would be a marquee performance. Embiid had a couple of his forceful dunk attempts that he tends to bring out in more “important” games, but he also had some big miscues, like losing Kornet on an ATO play with 0.5 left in the shot clock late in the fourth.

P.J. Tucker: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images

Tucker continued his recent streak of showing signs of like offensively, knocking down a pair of threes for a second game in a row. He is a hit a rare floater, so definitely some signs in the right direction here. He still passed up too many open looks, though, a couple of which led to his teammates getting stuck with live grenades at the end of the shot clock. Still, Tucker at least looked like he belonged on the floor against Boston. The fourth-quarter lineup with he and Matisse flanking Embiid, Harden, and Melton was the best stretch of the game for the Sixers.


Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in the loss to Boston?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    James Harden
    (175 votes)
  • 2%
    Joel Embiid
    (8 votes)
  • 44%
    P.J. Tucker
    (146 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now

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