Embiid on Nets: ‘It’s another game on the schedule’

The Philadelphia 76ers(8-8) were depleted as they hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves(8-8) on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia was missing its starting backcourt of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey, who were both out due to foot injuries. In addition, they were without Tobias Harris, who missed his second straight game with a hip injury.

“I just felt bad,” Joel Embiid, who had 32 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, said after the loss. “We have three of our best players; Tyrese is one that puts in so much work every single day. Injuries are just something that we can’t control it. It’s just unfortunate. I’ve had my share of them, especially freak injuries. You just can’t control them, so I just felt bad for him because he [TYRESE MAXEY] puts in so much work and takes care of himself. Obviously, missing James to the same thing and Tobias being hurt too. It does suck, but next man up.”

After having a small lead in the first quarter, Philadelphia was chasing Minnesota the rest of the way. The Timberwolves led by as many as 20 points, but the 76ers were able to cut to lead to two in the fourth, and had an opportunity to tie late, but Georges Niang missed a three with 01.2 seconds left, and they fell to Minnesota 112-109.

With the loss, Philly’s three-game winning streak was snapped.

The Timberwolves scored 97 points after three quarters, but Philadelphia went to a zone defense, which was effective and almost brought them all the way back.

“We just hung in there. We kept throwing out the score,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “We’re down eight, down seven, down six. That’s how you come back in games. I loved our fight. We had opportunities down the stretch. In the second half, I thought the zone really changed the game for us defensively.”

Embiid added on the defensive effort: “We didn’t play defense for three quarters. In the fourth, we went to zone; they didn’t know what to do and what to run against it. We just didn’t play defense for three quarters, and we put ourselves in a big hole. We were down 15, 20 most of the game. Unfortunately, it was too much to overcome.”

Now, they get a few days off before Ben Simmons, and the Brooklyn Nets come to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. After the loss to Minnesota, Embiid discussed the return of the number one overall pick by the 76ers in the 2016 NBA Draft.

“It’s another game on the schedule,” Embiid said. “I don’t know those guys; I have nothing against those guys. It’s Brooklyn against Philly. Hopefully, I feel better for that game. It’s the same goal—try go out and win. Obviously, we’re down a lot of guys right now, so we have to find ways. Tonight I wasn’t as dominant as I should have been. So, if I do feel better, I plan on trying to do whatever is possible to get that win. There’s a lot of history, but there’s really no history. It’s just a regular game. I know everybody is going to make a lot of drama about everything that’s happened. The people that were here and the people that were, but they’re not even playing. It’s going to be fine.”

Notes:

-Shake Milton, who started in place of Maxey, scored 27 points while hauling in six rebounds.

-In 32 minutes, Niang posted his fourth game of at least 15 points off the bench this season.

-Both the 76ers and Timberwolves had five players in double figures. Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

76ers’ Rivers: ‘Tyrese [Maxey] was sensational’

On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers(8-4) hosted the world champion, Milwaukee Bucks(5-6). 

However, Philadelphia was without their top three scorers in Joel Embiid(Health and Safety Protocols), Tobias Harris(Health and Safety Protocols), and Seth Curry(Foot contusion). Also, they were missing Matisse Thybulle(Health and Safety Protocols), and of course, Ben Simmons.

Philly battled for the whole game but did not have enough as they were outscored 27-16 in the fourth and fell to Milwaukee 118-109.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Philly’s loss to Milwaukee:

The Great for the 76ers:

-Tyrese Maxey did everything in his power to lead the Sixers to victory. The second-year guard led Philadelphia with a game-high-tying and season-high 31 points (12-24 FG), including a career-best four made threes, along with five boards and four assists. Maxey set a new single-quarter career-high with 17 points in the first period (7-9 FG, 3-4 3FG).

-Georges Niang scored 12 of his season-high 21 points against the Bucks off the bench, including five threes. According to Stathead, this is the 22nd time of Niang’s career where he has scored at least 10 points in a half.

-Andre Drummond has been great this season. He had another double-double with 17 points, a game-high 20 rebounds, and two blocks. This is Drummond’s second straight game of at least 20 rebounds(25 rebounds against Knicks on Monday night), leaving him tied for the fifth-most double-digit rebounding games in the league this year. Through 12 games, Drummond is the second player with consecutive games of at least 10 points and 20 rebounds.

-Shake Milton started for the injured Seth Curry and had a solid performance with 20 points, six assists, and four rebounds.

Not so Great for the 76ers:

Philadelphia did not shoot the ball all that great on Tuesday night, which is understandable. The 76ers shot 41% from the field.

Bottom Line:

Look, it would have been amazing if the 76ers had won this game, and while there are no moral victories in this league, Philadelphia might have earned a moral victory. Without Embiid and Harris, it’s going to be tough, but maybe they can find a way to steal a few games without their top players.

“I don’t know if anything surprises me with these guys,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. “They play hard; they try to figure it out… Tyrese [Maxey] was sensational tonight, kept attacking, Georges [Niang] gave us everything he had, I thought [Drummond] offensively on the glass was really good.”

What’s Next:

Philadelphia finishes their three-game homestand on Thursday night against the Raptors.

Best of the Rest:

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Antetokounmpo has now scored at least 30 points in four games this season; Grayson Allen set a season-high with 25 points in the game, and Bobby Portis added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

76ers’ Rivers on win over Blazers: ‘I thought every single guy did something to help us win the game”

The Philadelphia 76ers(5-2) made it three in a row after defeating the Portland Trail Blazers(3-4), 113-103, on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. 

Without their top two leading scorers in Joel Embiid(rest) and Tobias Harris(Health and Safety Protocols), the 76ers were still able to get it done. Philadelphia had seven players in double figures led by Seth Curry’s 23 points.

The Sixers had a 10-point lead in the fourth before the Blazers cut it to three with just over four minutes left. However, Philly would close the game on a 9-2 run to get the victory.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom line of Philly’s win over Portland.

The Great for the 76ers:

-Seth Curry scored seven of his 23 points in the fourth. This was Curry’s third game of 20 points or more this season. He was 10/17 from the field, including 3/10 from downtown.

-Georges Niang had a season-high 21 points, grabbed five rebounds and five assists off the bench. Niang had his first 20-5-5 game of his career. He’s been a great addition off Philly’s bench and was huge on Monday night.

-Andre Drummond stepped in for Embiid and was big-time against the Blazers. The nine-year veteran had a loaded stat line with 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and one block. This is the first game a player has posted a 10-15-5-5 line in the league since the 2018-19 season (Stathead).

Turnovers: Philadelphia forced 15 Portland turnovers, with 11 coming by way of the steal. The 76ers scored 17 points off turnovers on Monday night. 

Sharing is caring: Without Embiid and Harris, Philadelphia needed to share the ball and get everybody involved. The Sixers had a team season-high 34 assists of 43 field goals. Since the 2017-18 season, Philadelphia is 67-10, when they have 30-plus assists. (Stathead).

“Yeah, it was great. I was joking with Michael Rubin; I said, ‘you only had $105 million not in the game tonight,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “So, it was just a good team effort. The guys, we went with some crazy lineups—a lot of small ball. [Andre Drummond] was fantastic in his role. It was one of those games where I thought every single guy did something to help us win the game. They kind of stay within their roles. They understood what we needed. Getting to the paint. Creating plays.”

The Not So Great for the 76ers:

The fans: With Ben Simmons still on the roster, the fans chanting “We want Lillard” is a little inappropriate. However, I get it, but in the end, Lillard is a Blazer, and you don’t yell for an opposing player to come to Philly while he’s on another team’s roster.

Bottom Line:

This was a game the 76ers would have lost last season. Drummond is the best backup center Philly has had for Embiid, and he paid dividends last night. Great win for the 76ers, and it showed how much deeper Philadelphia is than a year ago. 

What’s next:

Philadelphia concludes their four-game homestand on Wednesday against the new-look Chicago Bulls.

Best of the Rest:

Furkan Korkmaz added 15 points and five assists in place of Harris, and Shake Milton scored 10 points off the bench.

Norman Powell led the Blazers with 22 points, and C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard added 20 points apiece; Lillard also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.

 

.

76ers’ Morey: ‘Georges(Niang) is a talented player who can stretch the floor’

The 76ers have officially signed F Georges Niang, the team announced on Friday.

According to Marc Stein, it’s a two-year deal worth $6.7 million.

Niang, 28, spent the last four seasons with Utah after spending his rookie year with Indiana. 

Last season, Niang posted career highs of 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists. He also was the only player last season to appear in at least 70 games while shooting at least 40-percent from both the field and three-point range while knocking down at least 95-percent of his attempts from the foul line. 

He is a .404 three-point shooter for his career, a mark that ranks 13th among active NBA players with 600-or-more attempts. This past season, Niang shot nearly 43-percent from three on a career-high 4.1 shots per game.

According to 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey, the 6-7 Niang should stretch the floor for Philadelphia next season.

“Georges is a talented player who can stretch the floor, and he immediately bolsters our frontcourt depth,” Morey said via a press release from the team. “He has shot over 40-percent from three for his career and has steadily improved his overall game each season he’s been in the NBA. We’re excited to welcome him to Philadelphia.”

Next season, Niang should fill the void left by Mike Scott off the 76ers’ bench and will be another dependable shooter for Philadelphia.