When you had been sipping bubbly and listening to some jams on New 12 months’s Eve, the Sixers had been busy handing the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder a beatdown with a straightforward 115-96 victory to shut out 2022.
For these of you who missed the sport or simply wish to clean up after an extended evening of racing, this is what occurred on Saturday evening:
Nice reception. everybody eats
It was a recreation that was largely over by the top of the primary quarter. Sixers or not, they threw a haymaker within the opening body, and the Thunder had been barely geared up to soak up it. You begin the sport 20-6 and also you’re nicely in your method to victory.
In case you had been simply watching the field rating, understandably, it was a New 12 months’s Eve recreation, you may be baffled by the thought of the Sixers flying with Joel Embiid scoring simply 16 factors on 17 taking pictures. The Sixers made up for it with different contributions from Embiid, but in addition not counting on him to set the tempo and tone of this recreation on offense. All however Georges Niang scored within the first half for Philadelphia as they took benefit of the Thunder’s chilly begin, pushing the tempo and grabbing early pictures the place they may.
The one member of the beginning lineup who did not rating in double figures was Mathis Tybull, and even he can stroll away from that recreation feeling good about his efficiency (9 factors on 3/3 from deep). Their tempo of play was a power all through the sport, particularly on stay rebounds, the place the Sixers cashed in closely on this recreation. The second somebody secured a defensive rebound for the Sixers, it appeared like they virtually instantly regarded high quality on the opposite finish. A Montrezl Harrell duck in right here, a large open Thybulle nook three there, and abruptly the lead was 20+ factors.
Choose a participant who acquired minutes on Saturday and there was most likely one thing to rejoice. Oklahoma native Shake Milton had one other nice evening from the spot begin, going 18-4-5 with a balanced effort from begin to end. The Sixers technically misplaced the offensive turnover battle to the Thunder 15-14, however the Sixers returned a better share of their misses and Harrell had evening on the o-glass.
And sure, Embiid acquired his triple-double with simply over 4 minutes left within the recreation, which appeared fully pointless, however put a smile on the faces of Embiid and his teammates. No less than we will say it displays his means to affect the sport even when taking pictures the ball at evening. When the Thunder noticed him ready across the rim, the urge to drive to the basket plummeted, they usually paid for it after they tried to problem the large man up prime. R:Normally, the defensive finish is the place this recreation was gained, because the Thunder barely handed something within the half court docket all evening. Oklahoma Metropolis had one of many worst offensive video games any staff has performed all season, the Thunder simply could not rating from the rim.
Only a good, simple win that despatched Philadelphia into the brand new 12 months feeling good. Watching some absolute stink bombs on New 12 months’s Eve. The Pacers gave them an absolute ass a couple of years in the past, it was good to see the Sixers on the proper aspect of the blowout heading into 2023.
Sport participant. Tobias Harris
There’s nothing like an ideal half from the court docket, which Harris gave the Sixers Saturday evening. Simply as vital because the clear stat line was how he acquired there, returning to taking part in extra on the ball with two of their most dynamic backcourt gamers to handle accidents.
Harris acquired to do a whole lot of the issues he ostensibly likes to do on offense, and the formation of the lineup helped as a result of it allowed him to perform as a real quarterback for many of the evening. Paired up with guys like former Sixers level guard Mike Muscala, Harris usually had the velocity benefit when attacking from the perimeter, and he used it to get to the paint and drive the Thunder into powerful picks. In the event that they did not get assist, he scored, and after they did, Harris made easy reads to make his teammates look good.
The synergy between Harris and Embiid was nice on this one, with the 2 weaving via dribble passes and pick-and-rolls at an ideal tempo. When the Thunder tried to overplay the passing recreation, I assumed Embiid did job reacting on the fly, particularly on Harris’ late dunk, the place the large man created an open lane to the rim with a half-turn;
That is one other stellar efficiency in a season filled with performs that showcased Harris’ versatility. The flexibility to function their heart stage performer at instances has helped the Sixers win some powerful spots this 12 months.
(I feel DeAnthony Melton has shot at this honor for his two-way recreation).
Little issues I favored
• How’s this for statistics? The Thunder shot simply 42.9 % from the rim Saturday evening, a quantity that appears borderline unimaginable for a professional basketball staff. By comparability, the Sixers shot 67.6 % there, which is true across the staff common this season.
Embiid deserves fairly a little bit of credit score for his work there, with the large man including 4 blocks to his triple-double for good measure. Preserving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander down is surprisingly troublesome as a result of he can throw you off steadiness on loopy legs, and Embiid was capable of wait him out lengthy sufficient on a couple of possessions, leaving OKC’s star level guard.
• DeAnthony Melton had some completely spectacular performs in move protection on Saturday evening, making up for errors or missed pictures by his teammates. He additionally did job of punishing Thunder defenders, together with Gilges-Alexander, for porous perimeter protection.
There are guys who’re higher athletes than him on paper, however Melton will get absolutely the most out of his athletic instruments, that are nothing to sneeze at. A part of the explanation I am bullish on the Sixers in a three-guard look is that Melton performs a lot larger than his peak would recommend. He will get excessive and is hard on rebounds, attempting to high-point the ball somewhat than hoping it lands in his arms.
• An ideal evening from three for Thybulle is all the time value celebrating.
• Any back-to-back wins on the finish of a street journey are ones to rejoice, whatever the opponent.
• How a lot of Isaiah Joe’s enchancment in OKC is because of a haircut? The present look appears to go well with him higher.
Issues to wash up
• Tybull picked up 5 fouls in 21:36 of recreation time. He deserves credit score for the great job he did defensively and for his half in slowing down SGA, however he must be extra disciplined to be a prime man for this or any staff. Doc Rivers pulled him simply seven seconds into the third quarter when he was caught holding his man as he snapped the ball. Seems like he did not even learn my resolutions article, smh.
(To be honest to Thybulle, he wasn’t the one man baited by the SGA on this one. Danwell Home Jr. supplied few positives and simply as many negatives within the activity.)
• Embiid staying on this recreation lengthy sufficient to put up a triple-double wasn’t my favourite choose on the planet. This recreation was delayed within the first half, and I might somewhat have him sit your complete fourth quarter than throw a meaningless tenth move.
• Niang is probably going going to hit the triple once more in some unspecified time in the future this season, however boy, has he been in a troublesome spot over the past week. 0/3 from deep on Saturday evening, and when he goes chilly, he would not supply a lot.
Comply with Kyle on Twitter: @KyleNeubeck
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