Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 15
Tyrese Maxey - 7
Tobias Harris - 4
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 3
De’Anthony Melton - 2
Paul Reed - 2
Patrick Beverley - 1
Jaden Springer - 1
Joel who? After three straight defeats, the Philadelphia 76ers finally got a win during Joel Embiid’s current four-game absence due to knee inflammation. After Wednesday’s Hawks game went to overtime, this contest was never really in question, with the Sixers leading Sacramento by eight points after one quarter, then building as much as a 25-point advantage on their way to the 112-93 win. While the Kings missed a number of open looks, Philadelphia certainly played a much more active defensive game than we’d seen lately. Offensively, they were led by the first of tonight’s Bell Ringer candidates.
Tobias Harris: 37 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers
As it turns out, having a good player methodically jab step the defense from the middle of the floor works a lot better when there’s not already a different great player methodically jab stepping the defense from the middle of the floor. With Embiid sidelined, Harris took over as the team’s initiator in and around the painted area and responded with a season-high 37 points. Tobias was aggressive from the jump, converting a couple and-ones on drives and bully ball moves in the first quarter. He kept bringing the violence to the rim with an uncharacteristic handful of dunks as he piled up a whopping 23 points in the first half.
Additionally, Harris showed the quick trigger on outside shots we all want to see from him, connecting on a trio of trios. He also played strong defense on Domantas Sabonis, stoutly holding his ground in the post and displaying quick hands to knock some balls away. In the end, the arena was chanting “Tobi, Tobi” with four minutes left, hoping he could hit a three to reach a career-high 40 points. Alas, he missed on consecutive possessions and had to be content with “just” 37. Terrific night for Harris.
Mo Bamba: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 4 blocks, 2 turnovers
I feel like Mo Bamba is among the most high variance players I’ve watched, in that there have been times in his career where he has looked like an All-Star talent, while sometimes he looks like he doesn’t belong in the league, and anywhere in-between. Tonight was closer to the All-Star end of the spectrum, with Bamba making impact plays on both ends of the court. He was flying everywhere defensively, erasing shots with his albatross wingspan. Offensively, he played with a high activity level as well, but looked controlled in some short roll finishes and hit both his three-point attempts. It has been a good couple games this week for Mo after it had seemed like improving the backup center situation should be high on the to-do list of Daryl Morey. (As you can see in the clip below, special shoutout to Pat Bev for some fun playmaking chops tonight.)
Nic Batum: 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers
As longtime Bell Ringer readers may know, if you make at least four threes without a miss, you make the list. Batum went 4-of-4 from downtown tonight (5-of-5 overall from the field), in what was a masterclass of role player goods. He gets his shot off so quickly; I’d say he’s the anti-Tobias in that regard but we’re not allowing Tobias slander tonight. We also saw Nico tip balls out for offensive rebounds, make the extra pass time and again (we all know he can throw a gorgeous entry pass), and make the proper rotations on defense. Batum even made a Danny Green cut in homage to his almost-teammate this season. Just a perfect dude to have on this roster doing the little things.
Tyrese Maxey: 21 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers
It wasn’t a banner night for Tyrese in terms of shooting the basketball (6-of-17 from the field), but you saw how much his presence impacted the game against an (admittedly poor) Kings defense. Time and again, Maxey would draw more than one defender, which would lead to some vintage Spurs-ian possessions in getting open looks. I would bet Tyrese had more than his share of hockey assists tonight. He also displayed great energy on the defensive end, part of a team-wide effort to keep De’Aaron Fox to a below average night. More than anything, though, I had to include Maxey here because of one of the best finishes around the basket you’ll see anywhere all season.
Maxey's finish is even more impressive from this angle pic.twitter.com/rapmo3Ku79— Daniel Olinger (@dan_olinger) January 13, 2024
Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Sacramento?
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