The Philadelphia 76ers capture a great road win against a solid Indiana Pacers team despite Joel Embiid not playing at 100.0 percent.
The game against the Indiana Pacers was the first of many hard test that the Philadelphia 76ers will face in the upcoming games, but the Sixers passed this test with flying colors. It was a complete effort on both sides of the ball, with the 76ers coming away with a 120-96 victory.
While the final score makes the game appear to be a blowout, it was very much a grind in the first half. The halftime score was 54-48 and all signs were pointing to the game being a grinder with both teams playing solid defense. However, the Sixers were able to bust open the lead in the second half the game. Philly out scored Indy by nine points in both the third and fourth quarters.
Defensively, the Sixers were active all game long and held the Pacers to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 31.0 percent from the 3-point line. They also held Pacers star Victor Oladipo to 15 points on 6-20 shooting from the field.
The Sixers got great production out of their bench, with each reserve doing their job perfectly. T.J. McConnell was a ball of energy as the backup point guard, Jonah Bolden continued to hustled as the backup center spot while also spacing the floor and Landry Shamet hit open 3-pointers like he’s suppose to.
Despite being questionable before the game, Embiid did end up playing while he was still being bothered by his back. There were times throughout the game that his back visibly caused him discomfort, but he pushed through it. Considering that his back was giving him problems, his defensive impact and overall game was still beyond impressive.
Simmons didn’t have a good shooting first half and the six total turnovers for the game were less than ideal, but the eight assists did help offset it a bit. Overall not one of the Simmons’ best games. The offensive assertiveness Simmons recently displayed this season wasn’t there against the Pacers and the turnovers were major down part in this game.
Redick had a great game and he was an important part to the Sixers win. He hit timely 3-pointers that helped the Sixers not only create, but maintain the lead. After he made his second shot from behind the arc on the night he passed Mike Miller for 23rd in made 3-pointers in NBA history.
With Embiid not being 100.0 percent and Simmons struggling early on, Butler stepped up offensively. Everything was going right for Butler on offense, including making a crazy acrobatic layup. It’s for games like this one that the Sixers made the trade for Butler in the first place.
Muscala hit several important 3-pointers in the fourth to help seal the deal for the Sixers. Overall it was a strong performance from big man. He has seemed to have benefited from Bolden taking over the backup center responsibilities and not being beat up inside the paint on defense.
In other notes, Wilson Chandler enjoyed a second straight game scoring double-digits by ending the contest with 10 points. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a more offensively assertive version of Chandler which would only benefit the Sixers moving forward.
Offensively, the Sixers were excellent as they shot 52.9 floor and downtown, while also shooting 90.9 percent from the foul line. The only mark against the Sixers was their 16 turnovers for the game and their was a string of turnovers in the fourth quarter that almost opened the door for a Pacers comeback. Luckily head coach Brett Brown made the proper adjustments to prevent a comeback from happening.
Two solid wins in a row for the Philadelphia 76ers should create positive momentum for the club going into their next matchup comes up against the Oklahoma City Thunder.