Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 19
Tyrese Maxey - 8
Tobias Harris - 5
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 5
Paul Reed - 3
Jaden Springer - 3 (sad face)
De’Anthony Melton - 2
Patrick Beverley - 1 (sad face)
Ricky Council IV - 1
Danuel House Jr. - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1 (sad face)
Terquavion Smith - 1
The Sixers won a game Saturday night. That alone is newsworthy as they snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Wizards 119-113.
While Tyrese Maxey returned to the lineup it was undrafted rookie Ricky Council IV that stole the show in D.C.
It wasn’t the most crisp start for Maxey and Tobias Harris. Early on, it was Buddy Hield and Kelly Oubre, Jr. that helped carry the offense. Nick Nurse went to Council early — and the two-way player gave his head coach every reason to keep him in the game. Council was active on both ends, energy that’s been sorely needed as the Sixers have dealt with so many players being in and out of the lineup.
Council opened the second quarter and continued to play well. Once Maxey got going a little bit the Sixers were able to open up a 12-point lead. Newcomer Cameron Payne did a solid job yet again running the team, finding Oubre on a couple cuts and Paul Reed rolling to the rim. Payne is definitely a true point guard.
The Wizards would close the gap thanks to Tyus Jones knocking down 5-of-6 from three. Meanwhile, the Sixers hit just 4-of-14 from deep. Maxey and Harris shot a combined 7-of-20, but the Sixers still held 59-56 lead.
Hield continues to show that he’s more than just a shooter, running pick-and-rolls and finding Reed rolling to the basket. It looks like Reed has found a little early chemistry with Hield and Payne. Payne had another strong stretch in the third as the Sixers extended the lead back to 17.
But the struggles for Harris continued, as the veteran forward finished 4-of-14 for only 11 points. Washington cut the Sixers’ lead all the way back down to two. Luckily for the Sixers, Maxey started to cook and Council kept coming. The trio of Maxey, Council and Hield carried the Sixers to a desperately-needed win.
Mercifully, the Sixers have only two games left before the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the next one is against the hottest team in the NBA as they’ll travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavs Monday. We’ll see if Kyle Lowry makes his Sixers debut after securing a buyout from the Hornets.
Let’s get to Bell Ringer.
Tyrese Maxey: 28 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists
On Wednesday, Maxey caught the bug going around the Sixers’ locker room. He tried to help his woefully shorthanded team by playing through it, but he struggled mightily all night against the Warriors.
After missing Friday night’s loss to the Hawks, Maxey joined his teammates in D.C. The beginning of the game was rough for the newly-minted All-Star. He shot just 5-of-12 from the field for 11 points in the first half. It was an awfully physical game and the refs were letting both teams play. Maxey was struggling to finish through contract early on.
In the third quarter, Maxey only attempted two shots, missing both. It was fair to wonder at that point if Maxey maybe should’ve taken one more night off.
Then, he took the game over in the fourth.
Maxey dropped 15 of his game-high 28 in the final period, helping the Sixers hang on for dear life. He really had it going on, showing how effective his partnership with Hield can be.
His drives looked way better as the game went on. By the fourth, he looked as explosive as ever.
It wasn’t a great night for Maxey, but he did what stars do — came through when his team needed him most.
Buddy Hield: 23 points, 6 assists, five rebounds, 4 steals
Despite shooting only 4-of-12 from three in his Sixers debut, Hield made an immediate impact on the Sixers’ offense. With Maxey back in the fold, it was even more noticeable.
Rese to Buddy...could get used to this. pic.twitter.com/S4gYJtcLBD— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 11, 2024
While the Sixers have rostered some excellent movement shooters in the past like JJ Redick and Seth Curry, respectfully, Hield is a better all-around offensive basketball player. After posting six assists in his debut, he dished out six more Saturday.
His ability to operate in the pick-and-roll has stood out through two games.
P&R (pick & roll. also Paul & Reed) pic.twitter.com/V0JFB7ZyIt— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 11, 2024
Of course the shooting is still his best skill. He was 4-of-9 from beyond the arc Saturday. That’s 21 attempts from deep through two games. What an absolute godsend for a team that’s been putrid from three, especially over the last few weeks.
It’s going to be a while before we see Hield play with Joel Embiid, but that offense is going to be dangerous.
Ricky Council IV: 19 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist
What a freaking night for Ricky Council IV.
For anyone unfamiliar, this is what Council did during his time at Arkansas. He’s a crazy athlete, a great slasher and a strong finisher at the rim. Folks in Delaware have also been seeing this all year with the Blue Coats. His struggles from three likely caused him to go undrafted, but that might be the Sixers’ gain and the rest of the league’s loss.
This was just filthy in transition. RIP Jordan Poole’s ankles.
The speed and motor running the floor, the strength and touch to finish through contact. There are some serious traits here.
The only shame was the timing of this type of game. If Council had a game like this a couple weeks ago he would rightfully be in the dunk contest.
No play was bigger than this one. The Sixers were leaking oil on both ends. The Wizards had gotten within two. The Sixers pushed it back to four and could basically put it away with another bucket. Maxey wound up taking a tough fadeaway and missing.
Council fought through two Washington players, corralled the offensive rebound and finished. Talk about a play where a guy just wants it more.
For your Bell Ringer consideration, this postgame gold from the man of the hour:
Ricky Council IV on his approach: “I just feel like I’m a dog. I feel like a lot of people say it, but not a lot of people are about it. I’m about it.”— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) February 11, 2024
Who was the Sixers Bell Ringer against the Wizards Saturday night?
Ricky Council IV