Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 19
Tyrese Maxey - 8
Tobias Harris - 5
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 4
Paul Reed - 3
De’Anthony Melton - 2
Jaden Springer - 2
Patrick Beverley - 1
Ricky Council IV - 1
Danuel House Jr. - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Terquavion Smith - 1
The Sixers have been hampered by injuries and tonight was no exception. In addition to star Joel Embiid being out, Philadelphia was also missing Nicolas Batum, De’Anthony Melton, Marcus Morris Sr., Danuel House Jr. and Robert Covington for Wednesday’s contest.
The first period of this one was far from an offensive clinic. Both defenses played fairly well, with a special shoutout to Jaden Springer who (in his third career start) held Steph Curry to zero points in the frame. The Warriors shot just 5-for-21 from the floor and the Sixers 9-for-21 for a 22-15 Philadelphia advantage headed into the second.
The offense stayed ice cold for the Sixers but started to heat up for the Warriors, with Golden State ripping off a 10-0 run in the second to take a narrow 48-45 lead into halftime. It was not an offensively inspirational half from either team but especially not from the Sixers, who could not get into any sort of rhythm and shot 2-for-14 from beyond the arc.
Just like Monday night against the Mavericks, things got ugly fast for the Sixers out of the break. The Warriors outscored the Sixers 21-7 in the first five minutes of the third quarter to quickly accumulate a double-digit lead. It wasn’t long before Philadelphia was trailing by over 20 points... then 30 points... and that was just about all she wrote. The Sixers fell 127-104.
The Sixers were absolutely missing some key pieces, even putting aside Embiid, but this offense is absolutely stagnant for long stretches and is failing almost entirely to generate points from beyond the arc. It is completely exhausting to watch and we can only hope that players getting healthy (and maybe some moves tomorrow?) can help get things back in gear.
Now, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Jaden Springer: 8 points, 4 boards, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block (held Steph Curry to 9 points)
Springer got his third career NBA start tonight. The kid definitely has a lot to work on on the offensive end of the floor, but man, it is fun to watch him play defense. Much like his most recent assignment covering Luka Doncic, Springer was in for another challenge in defending Steph Curry. He was all over it, glued to Curry and holding the 10-time NBA All-Star to zero points in the first quarter. Curry didn’t score his first point until hitting two from the free throw line with 2:51 left in the first half, his only points at the break, and didn’t hit a field goal until the third when Springer was switched off him.
A little thing about Springer also that should be highlighted is when he makes errors on offense, he is working overtime to try to make up for it immediately. Here is the perfect example:
The entire Jaden Springer experience summed up in just 27 seconds pic.twitter.com/KL9PUUl2er— Daniel Olinger (@dan_olinger) February 8, 2024
Don’t get me wrong, he absolutely needs to work on his confidence and stability on the offensive end, but he’s showing extreme potential as a defensive player already, even going up against the league’s stars, and it’s great to see in such a young player.
KJ Martin: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Martin was somewhat the converse of Springer tonight in that he was productive offensively but left a bit to be desired on the defensive end. He brought a lot of energy and movement off the ball to find openings to receive passes and drive at the rim, drawing a number of fouls in the process. In what was overall an abysmal offensive night for the Sixers, Martin was second in scoring for Philadelphia with 15 points on 6-for-10 field goal shooting, 2-for-3 from long range and 1-of-1 from the line. He also had five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Ricky Council IV (and Terquavion Smith, for purposes of my rant)
OK, so these guys probably aren’t the Bell Ringer because the game was all but over when they were subbed in. This is completely a self-serving addition to the options so that I can write about how I want Council and Smith to be utilized earlier in the rotation instead of just in garbage time when the Sixers are down 30.
If the Sixers’ offense is going to look the way it did tonight and Monday while people are recovering from injury, I see it as a little risk, high-upside move to bring in the young guys before things completely get out of hand and give them a chance to turn things around in games like this where absolutely nothing with your standard rotation is working. I know it’s mostly against opponent’s bench squads, but both of these guys have shown that they have the potential to be offensive and defensive catalysts for the Sixers which they desperately need in their current state.
Council IV led the Sixers in scoring tonight with 17 points in 10 minutes, all in the fourth. In the same timeframe, Smith scored seven points and had a rebound, a pair of assists and a steal.
Who was the Bell Ringer in the loss to the Golden State Warriors?
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Ricky Council IV