Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 16
Tyrese Maxey - 7
Tobias Harris - 5
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 3
De’Anthony Melton - 2
Paul Reed - 2
Patrick Beverley - 1
Jaden Springer - 1
The game between the two previous NBA MVPs and two of the top teams in the league this season fully lived up to the hype. It was a true back-and-forth affair for quite some time, with each side’s offense throwing one haymaker after another. Things got a bit dicey for the Sixers when Denver closed the third quarter on a 15-2 run to lead by five heading into the final frame. However, the Sixers countered with an 18-2 run of their own midway through the fourth quarter to regain control and didn’t look back for the 126-121 win. Let’s look at tonight’s worthy Bell Ringer candidates after the victory.
Joel Embiid: 41 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers
I’m sure this game will finally be the one to put tired narratives about Joel ducking top-tier competition to bed. (Sadly, it probably won’t.) On the tail end of a back-to-back, Joel Embiid put forth another offensive masterpiece in taking down the defending champs. Joel had the jump shot working tonight, nailing three triples and rising up for a bushel of mid-range shots over Aaron Gordon. The 18-2 Sixers run I mentioned earlier included a personal 10-0 run by Embiid that took the game from tied at 113 to 123-113. That sequence featured Embiid eurostepping around Nikola Jokic in transition for a bucket, then an and-one made jumper over Gordon that was punctuated by a sure-to-be-fined-for DX chop. It was textbook ‘put the team on his back’ stuff from the Sixers big man. Oh, and he had seven more assists than the greatest passing center in the world right now. Not too shabby, and most importantly for everyone who follows obscure statistical cutoffs that hadn’t been given a moment’s thought before, the 30-point, 10-rebound streak may be dead, but the 30-point, double-double streak continues to live on in all its glory.
Joel Embiid is such a showman and I love it pic.twitter.com/6rnuCsv7dI— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 17, 2024
Tyrese Maxey: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover
Maxey struggled with a couple things tonight, fourth quarter free throws, and trying to knock loose a ball stuck at the top of the backboard. Otherwise, he was tremendous, knocking down four threes with a 9:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and scoring 11 points during a second quarter that saw maybe as much high-level shot-making from both sides as I’ve seen this season. Maxey and Embiid played some smooth two-man ball out top which freed Tyrese for a couple of those triples, and the young guard used his blazing speed on a number of occasions to finish some tough lay-ins and runners. Joel won the MVP clash, but Maxey also won the undercard over Jamal Murray.
Good back and forth between Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey here. Go in the post, Denver looking to double, Maxey holds and they go back and forth. pic.twitter.com/KdamxKrh7J— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) January 17, 2024
Tobias Harris: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers
Hey, look who’s still playing well out here alongside Joel Embiid! It was another highly efficient night for Tobias Harris, who shot 8-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line, in addition to battling against Nikola Jokic on the other end of the floor for a lot of possessions. We got to witness a rare alley-oop dunk finish from Harris, but it was his bread-and-butter bully ball that was most crucial to the Sixers’ win. With the Nuggets leading at the beginning of the fourth quarter and hoping to really pull away during the non-Embiid minutes, it was Tobias who scored eight points in the first four minutes of the period. Denver tried to guard him with the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Christian Braun, and Tobi basically told him to come back in five years when he started to develop some old man muscle.
Nic Batum: 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers
Batum won’t have the big counting stats of his fellow Bell Ringer nominees, because that’s not his role with the team, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t making an impact. He tracks down 50-50 balls, seemingly always makes smart decisions, and comes up with timely defensive plays. Aside from the little things, Batum had two flashy plays that really stood out tonight. With a little over a minute left and the Sixers up by eight points, he made a terrific recovery to block a driving Jamal Murray from behind. Nic then strutted along the baseline (while play was going on in the other direction) and presumably yelled ‘Are you not entertained?’ to the crowd in French. Earlier in the game, he had this ridiculous bail-out three at the end of the shot clock. How does he shot put this in without an lift?
Nic Batum showed how important he is to the Sixers tonight with his shooting, connective passing, and defense. Been consistent ever since he was acquired. Makes a huge impact beyond the box score.— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 17, 2024
I'm still thinking about this no-dip 3 to beat the buzzer pic.twitter.com/iaPOpLzBxR
Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Denver?
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