Sixers Bell Ringer season standings:
Joel Embiid – 26
Tobias Harris – 13
Ben Simmons – 12
Shake Milton – 6
Tyrese Maxey – 3
Matisse Thybulle – 2
Danny Green – 2
Furkan Korkmaz – 2
Dakota Mathias – 1
Tony Bradley – 1
We’ll have to pop the champagne for clinching the one seed another night. Despite leading by 11 at halftime, the Sixers ultimately fell, 103-94, to the Pacers, keeping their magic number at one for the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia’s offense went completely stagnant in the second half, tallying just 13 points in the third quarter, and going nearly five minutes in the fourth quarter without scoring to watch a 92-88 lead turn into a 99-92 deficit. Sure, Joel Embiid didn’t make the trip for this game, and Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle were out to injury, but Indiana was missing some key players themselves and the Sixers let one slip through their fingers. See you Thursday night in Miami. But first, Bell Ringer.
Ben Simmons: 20 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers
Ben was outstanding in the first half, scoring 14 points and recording six assists prior to halftime. It was the old recipe of Joel being out, opening things up for Ben head downhill with a full head of steam. The Sixers’ first two buckets of the game both came via Simmons dunks, including a slick fake handoff where he caught his defender napping. Simmons would later hit a couple fadeaway jumpers (queue the think pieces), including the team’s final made field goal with 5:26 left in the game (yeah, not great late-game offense, Sixers). If Ben had played his last two quarters like his first two quarters, we’d be having the rest vs. rust discussion already.
Tobias Harris: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers
This game won’t go down as one of Tobias’s best of the 2020-21 season, but considering the amount of volume he had to absorb with Joel Embiid out, the forward did a decent job, finishing 11-of-24 from the field and 3-of-3 at the foul line. As usual, he scored in a variety of ways, posting up to ram his man back until Tobi was in a comfortable area for his turnaround jumper, or careening in from behind the arc and finishing around the basket; Harris had a couple very smooth finishes with the left hand tonight. Although he did score a team-high seven points in the fourth quarter, that five-minute lull was screaming out for Tobi the Closer to take over, but it just didn’t happen.
Tyrese Maxey: 11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover
Tyrese’s 17 minutes were probably the most joyful as a Sixers fan viewing from home, as the rookie continues to figure things out in the tail end of his first season in the league. Maxey started his night off by bursting into the teeth of the defense, and knifing between two defenders for an acrobatic finish at the rim. He would show off that burst to the cup on a couple more lay-ins, adding in a pull-up jumper from the right elbow for good measure. Later in the game, he acted more as a facilitator; all three of his assists came in the fourth quarter, including the pitch-perfect lob to Dwight Howard in the lane. To top off his night, Maxey also helped fill the Matisse void with two blocks from behind on jumpers. I could have used even more Maxey in my life tonight.