Sixers Bell Ringer Season Ranking:
Joël Embiid – 26 years old
Tobias Harris – 13 years old
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 sauté the champagne to have landed a seed another night. Despite an 11 halftime lead, the Sixers ultimately fell 103-94 to the Pacers, keeping their magic number one for the Eastern Conference top seed. Philadelphia’s offense was completely stagnant in the second half, totaling just 13 points in the third quarter, and going almost five minutes in the fourth quarter without scoring to see a 92-88 lead turn into a 99-92 deficit. Of course, Joel Embiid didn’t make the trip for this game, and Furkan Korkmaz and Matisse Thybulle were injured, 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 exceptional in the first half, scoring 14 points and recording six assists before halftime. It was the old recipe for Joel’s exit, opening things up for Ben as he descended with his head full of steam. The first two buckets of the Sixers game both came via Simmons’ dunks, including a smooth fake transfer where he caught his defender napping. Simmons later hit a few fadeaway jumpers (spin the think pieces), including the team’s final basket with 5:26 left in the game (yeah, not a great late-game attack, Sixers). If Ben had played his last two quarters as his first two quarters, we would already have the discussion of the rest against Rust.
Tobias Harris: 27 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers
This game won’t be one of Tobias’ best of the 2020-21 season, but considering the volume he had to absorb with Joel Embiid, the forward did a decent job, finishing 11 of 24 on the pitch. . and 3 of 3 at the foul line. As usual, he scored in different ways, flaunting to bring his man back until Tobi was in a comfortable zone for his turnaround jumper, or sneaking behind the arc and finishing around the basket; Harris had some very smooth left hand finishes tonight. Although he scored seven points, a high for the team in the fourth quarter, that five-minute lull was screaming for the closest Tobi 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 have been arguably the happiest as a home Sixers fan, as the rookie continues to figure things out at the end of his first season in the league. Maxey started his night breaking into the teeth of the defense, and stabbing between two defenders for an acrobatic finish to the edge. He was showing off that cup explosion on a few other lay-ins, adding a right elbow pull-up pull-up for good measure. Later in the game, he acted more like a facilitator; his three assists came in the fourth quarter, including the perfect lob for Dwight Howard down the hall. To top off his night, Maxey also helped fill Matisse’s void with two blocks from behind on jumpers. I could have used Maxey even more in my life tonight.