The Sixers took a small initial step on Saturday night to move from their mysterious and miserable game on the road during the 2019-20 season.
They beat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 109-89, to go 2-0 this season. Joel Embiid led the team with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
This weekend road wraps up noon to the Sixers Sunday night against the Cavs.
Here are notes about the team’s victory on Saturday:
Embiid is still feeding
As was the case in the fourth quarter of the opening match on Wednesday, the Sixers’ crime centered around Embiid while he was on the ground. Empiid wasn’t exactly dominant but scored 10 points on nine field shots in his first spell, which lasted 10:24. Although some of the Embiid-centric properties were deliberate, it is a reasonable and sustainable approach.
“This team has to learn how to operate in the real world,” said Artistic Director Doc Rivers Thursday, and one imagines that the group will likely have a post-Embiid period.
The Sixers’ huge man knew where his exits were, only changing them once and putting the defense in uncomfortable positions once he received the ball at the post and kicked it when the assistant turned in his direction. When faced with single coverage, Embiid will obviously always have an advantage.
“I’m definitely more comfortable even when it comes to pulling out of the double teams,” Ambed said after the match. “The only thing I’m trying to improve this year is not turning the ball. I thought there was something today, and that was at the end before I knocked out. I was very disappointed. (Extra shooting) It definitely makes me comfortable, and it helps my game because now If you want to double, I challenge you, because we’re going to drop those shots. And if you let me play 1 on 1, it’s either a bucket or a foul. “
Are you playing Embiid on Sunday night? He said Wednesday that he wants to be able to play every match this season. The rivers were careful on the matter.
“No, we’re not going to share that anyway,” said Rivers. “I think the answer is you have to wait and see.”
Simmons strangles Barrett
It’s easy to take for granted when you watch him for a few seasons, but Ben Simmons’ versatility, sports and elite defense can transform gaming. A good example of this Saturday night was Simmons dropping a corner kick missed by Tobias Harris and blocking a corner kick from RJ Barrett’s corner kick through 14-0 from the Sixers in the second quarter.
Barrett, Simmons ‘main defensive match, scored 10 points and shot 2 to 15 after scoring 26 points in the Knicks’ season opener against the Pacers. Now that the All-Defensive First Team is broken, there is every reason to believe that healthy Simmons can become a staple. Simons finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal.
Beginners find out
Harris broke a series of 12 losing field goals by dropping him off the field after the Knicks foul and diverting a first-quarter layup. He also made his next attempt, forging a triple pointer from the top of the switch and diving into a mid-range jump.
His first mission wasn’t good from a defensive standpoint. Julius Randall, Harris ‘assignment, scored nine of the Knicks’ first 10 points. The 28-year-old made two mistakes in quick succession, too. None of this is a fan, although thanks to Harris, he played a more intense defense after Randall’s opening spurt.
Offensively, we still see a lot of what Rivers call Harris’ bag of tricks. If he’s not intending to attack right away, there’s nothing wrong with taking the ball to one of his teammates, moving to the right spot for the team’s distance and preparing to shoot when the next opportunity comes his way. That Harris still scores 17 on a 7-to-14 shooting is a reminder that sad offensive nights are not his nature.
The Sixers’ beginnings aren’t close to their best yet as a unit, but they looked excellent at the start of the third half, extending a five-point lead to 16. They forced the Knicks’ defense into action during that period, dividing the ball and searching for the best option. Seth Curry played a very impressive game, scoring 17 points (6 to 8 shots), providing three assists and avoiding any turns. Danny Green hasn’t yet found a stroke, but he had four robberies and looked more in tune with his teammates.
“I was overjoyed by the first unit attack,” Rivers said. “I thought they moved the ball and played together. They made each other better tonight.”
Maxi looks at the house
Therese Maxi has a serious blast.
The rookie had two points, three assists and one turn on Saturday night in nine minutes – not impressive numbers. The way he collected those stats was impressive. Maxi The basket came when he pumped a fake on three convertibles and whipped into a throwing position. Two of his passes were to Dwight Howard, including one where he led and threw it into a backup center for one. During the pre-season and the Sixers’ first two games, Maxey appears to read the action well and make smart decisions without hesitation.
“Well, he’s young,” Rivers said before the match when asked how Maxi distinguished himself from other Sixers’ footballers. “And he has a lot of speed. I think he’s probably, out of that group, the most natural rule – although I don’t think he’s a natural point guard. So we see that in him. But his speed is a factor for us and we want to use it.”
Matisse Thybulle replaced Maxey in the spin during the third quarter. Rivers clearly would like to keep Theboll in the mix after not receiving many pre-season minutes with players in turns and only appearing as a defensive substitute late in the match against the Wizards.
From now on, one wonders if the Furkan Korkmaz turnover spot is at risk. Korkmaz, who scored 1 of 7 field goals on Saturday, is apparently playing the same Thybulle center. Could Thybulle finally take some of his minutes instead of Maxey, especially when the Sixers need perimeter defense?
None of the above ideas matters much at present. More than anything, Thybulle’s team minutes seemed to realize Rivers were making a double-digit lead by the Sixers and saw this as an opportunity to give the Year Two player some playing time in Unit Two.
The Knicks’ Reggie Bullock was forced out in the first quarter due to a problem with his City Edition uniform. While the front of Bullock’s shirt was his natural number 25, fullback said # 23, as did Mitchell Robinson. Excuse me.
All the hype is good publicity for those new jerseys, maybe. Pollock was allowed to return after he was transformed into an alternate costume with appropriate numbering.