Philadelphia has been overreacting to the Embiid “sush” ever since he helped lead the team to victory Monday. Even following a win, fans were pleading the team to trade Embiid on social media and sports radio in spite of his recent behavior. To add fuel to the fire Joel posted a picture with the caption “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Of course, former player Jimmy Butler had to chime in on Instagram: “I know a place where villains are welcome”. Ever since then the city has been in full-fledged panic mode, but winning is a hell of a drug, and all will seem forgotten after this huge win over the talented Clippers.
The Sixers took the W at the Center, beating the Clippers 110 – 103, everything seemed to come together chemistry wise, quite possibly the best game we’ve seen Joel and Ben have together. Brett Brown shook up the lineups, starting Josh Richardson, Furkan Korkmaz, and Tobias Harris at the 4. Coach Brown also sent veteran Al Horford to the bench, letting him run the 5 when Joel is out, and we saw immediate improvement. Horford may have played his best defense of the season, just proving he fits more naturally at the center position.
The offense just seemed in sync with so many players getting solid numbers. Joel had 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists showing fans he can step up in big moments. He immediately went to the rim as the game started, getting fans back on his side. Ben also had himself a game, posting up under the rim with consistent success, seemed like he couldn’t be stopped. Simmons put up 26 from the field, with 10 assists and 12 rebounds. Tobias Harris held his own with a modest 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists. Brett Brown really should consider playing Harris at the 4 more often, he seemed to fit seamlessly into that starting rotation and stayed consistent throughout the night. Josh Richardson bounced back with 21 points, stepping up in the 4th quarter when the team desperately needed it to seal the W.
This is the type of game that makes you realize the full potential of this team if everything comes together. If Brett can continue to find the perfect role for each player teams will be horrified at the potential of this squad night in and night out. Ben and Embiid need to bring that energy consistently to lead this team to the top of the east. Coach Brown and the company need to realize the importance of these upcoming road trips to solidify their playoff spot. If each player accepts their role and plays like they did tonight expect the Sixers to be the favorite in the east come April.