Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 27
James Harden - 18
Tyrese Maxey - 13
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 4
De’Anthony Melton - 4
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1
Jalen McDaniels - 1
Delaware Blue Coats - 1
With nothing to play for in terms of playoff positioning as this NBA regular season draws to a close, the Philadelphia 76ers sat the top six members of their rotation on Friday night in Atlanta. Refreshingly, this made for a fun, stress-free atmosphere in which the bench and G League guys hustled their tails off and overcame a 15-point deficit to defeat a full-strength Atlanta squad in overtime, 136-131. It was like rewinding to the days of Process past, but with the added benefit of a victory. We’re happy and Doc Rivers is realllllly happy. Let’s show some love (#ShowYaLuv) for tonight’s standout performers.
Jaden Springer: 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers
One night after securing G League Finals MVP, Springer showed he can excel in the big leagues as well. With a few minutes left in the game, the 20-year-old had a terrific sequence where he nailed a three-pointer and then two Hawks possessions later, stole the ball from Trae Young and assisted a Danuel House, Jr. dunk ahead in transition. Jaden wasn’t done, however, tying the game not once, but twice, inside the final minute of regulation. First, he drove for a tough floater along the right baseline, then on the next possession, slammed home a putback dunk off a miss from Shake Milton. To cap things off, Springer locked up Trae Young to force a 24-second violation with the final seconds of regulation ticking off the clock. I think we just watched Jaden graduate from the G League for good. Throw that cap up in the air, young man!
Georges Niang: 24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers
The Minivan was in a it of a minor slump of late, shooting 2-of-13 from downtown across his prior four games, and putting up goose eggs in the scoring department against Milwaukee and Boston (not exactly a ringing endorsement for his postseason rotation spot). While Atlanta certainly isn’t those teams, it was outstanding to see Georges break out and rediscover the range, shooting 5-of-7 on threes to tie a career-high with 24 points. Niang scored eight points in overtime, including a pair of threes, one of which was the final dagger to make it a five-point game with 12 seconds remaining. I love me some puffed-out smack talk from Georges.
Jalen McDaniels: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover
Brought in at the trade deadline because Daryl Morey views him as a more balanced, two-way player than Matisse Thybulle, McDaniels certainly walked the walk on Friday. Jalen was flying around on both ends of the court, and the Sixers even used him as a ball handler a fair bit tonight. More importantly for when he’s playing alongside the full roster, McDaniel’s shot has come around. He has now hit multiple triples in three straight games, even not doing so for his first 20 games as a Sixer. The percentage is up, as are the attempts, and the Sixers will need that to continue if he’s going to be a solid eighth man-type in the postseason.
Danuel House, Jr.: 22 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers
More than the other guys on this list, House’s postseason role is more uncertain. You could see him getting the nod for his ability to switch defensively and knock down jumpers (even if it has been a down year at under 35 percent from three), or you could see him riding those DNP-CDs into the offseason. Danuel made the case against the Hawks to see minutes, streaking up and down the court for a handful of finishes in transition, and going off the dribble for some at-rim buckets in addition to his lone three-point bucket (on three attempts). He was aggressive with the ball in his hands all night; his nine makes on ten attempts from the foul throw line easily led the team. House may be a bit of a wild card, but as Charlie Kelly would tell you, sometimes that’s what you need.
Who is the Bell Ringer for the overtime win in Atlanta?
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Danuel House, Jr.