The Sixers showed Sunday night that they don’t need Joel Embiid to win, and are back from a 20-point trail to beat the Pacers. Their job sure is easier when the big all-star guy is available.
Embiid returned on Wednesday after missing the Sixers’ game against Indiana in a narrow back, scoring 34 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block in the 118-111 victory over the Hornets at Spectrum Center.
The Sixers won all three matches on their road trip, improving to 16-6 overall and 6-5 away from home. They will play Trail Blazers Thursday evening at the Wells Fargo Center.
Here are notes about the Sixers’ win on Wednesday:
Embiid featured prominently right away, taking six of the Sixers’ first 10 shots. During one particularly strong stretch, he grabbed a recoil and went from coast to coast for inundation, then slowed down to the Sixers’ next possession and shot a triple pointer from a feed from Ben Simmons.
Through 17 matches, Embiid fired 42.3 percent of its three-point range. He entered the season having scored 31.9 percent of his three-point tries in his career, with a season high of 36.7 percent in his rookie year. Given his mainly soft and sound shot and his good bad streak record, Embiid has long appeared able to boost external shooting numbers.
When asked about Empiide before he was named MVP at this month’s Eastern Conference, coach Doc Rivers made it clear that he was not satisfied with the first season trophies the Sixers received.
“Really, as a whole team, we have to keep getting better,” Rivers said. “It’s really cool, Joel won the Player of the Month award, but I don’t think that’s the reason for starting the season or what he wanted. He wants more. The better you play as a group, the more things you get. But that shouldn’t be a reason not to. Desire to get better. ”
Before the season, Embiid also talked about the team’s success in conjunction with individual awards. If the Sixers stay at or near the summit of the conference and continue to play at that global level, they will receive a few trophies when the year ends.
Early display of defensive firepower
During the first nine minutes of the match, the Sixers amassed a large number of excellent defensive games. Empede had few things alone, and showed no signs of rust as it disrupted Charlotte’s offensive rhythm with active hands and feet on the perimeter and inland.
Simmons and Danny Green each had impressive blocks, with Simmons netting a corner attempt from Devonte ‘Graham’s triple while Green erasing an easy breakout attempt for Gordon Hayward.
The Hornets scored just 13 points in the first half, the lowest number of points conceded in a single quarter throughout the season, with a payout rate of 22.7 percent.
After the first half ended, Charlotte’s archers seemed to suddenly find their groove at once, and the Sixers’ defensive energy dwindled as the Hornets narrowed their 26 points behind to seven in the third quarter with a big run. Matisse Thybulle made one of the gambling Rivers paid to avoid during that shaky period, jumping in search of the highlight block and tossing Graham in a three-point attempt.
Simmons made the same mistake with 5.1 seconds remaining in the game and the Sixers gaining seven points, a head-scratching foul late in the match.
The rivers did not adhere to the area defense that spurred the return of the Sixers in Indiana. He has confidence in his team’s ability to defend man-to-man.
He said, “It’s something we will only use when we feel we need it.” “We believe in defending our men. … There are a lot of reasons why you should play in the area. Sometimes you try to hide someone in a bad problem, sometimes you try to hide a bad defender on your team on the ground and sometimes the other team has a great rhythm and you try to get rid of the rhythm.” . “
Scare Milton’s injury
Milton Kahn shook to the ground and mugged with a 7:03 left in the second quarter after driving to the hoop and taking an ill-fitting step on his right leg where he missed. He stayed in the game to shoot two free throws, then made a foul so he could head into the locker room with Sixers head coach Kevin Johnson.
The 24-year-old is back on the bench several minutes later, which is definitely a welcome sight by the Sixers. There were no apparent problems with Milton’s movement within his second half minutes. according to Keith Pompey The Inquirer.
The Sixers counted on him as the main goalscorer for Unit Two, and he did well in the role despite a slow start from the three-point zone. Milton’s defensive strength and self-worth as head ball coach made him the backbone of the Sixers’ seat, and a staple for the post-season arrival. He scored 13 points in 4 to 12 shots on Wednesday.
Overall, the Sixers’ 2nd Unit outperformed the Hornets by a 27-24 lead, taking advantage of the fact that Charlotte was short-circuited with junior model PJ Washington (right foot sprain) and Terry Rozier (right ankle sprain).
Five Sixers scored in double figures, including Tobias Harris with a score of 26 that wasn’t glamorous but came in effective style. It went 9 to 9 off the wrong streak, its highest in the season in both times and attempts.
Meanwhile, Seth Curry didn’t have any shooting points 0 versus 3. After testing positive for COVID-19 last month, Curry is no longer healthy.
“It was tough, slight wounds here and there, and just a little bit,” he said on Tuesday. “I think some hangovers too – just trying to fully recover my energy. Some days I feel good, and some days I feel lazy and I feel like I have to take a nap all day. It’s weird, but I’m grateful to be on the field every day and playing.”