November is over, so what have we learned so far?
The Sixers and PFO have at least one thing in common, we both had a VERY good week! The team was undefeated and is now 17-8 on the season. They are now on pace for 56 wins and a second seed come playoffs. This is only notable in the sense that the team has played one of the most grueling schedules to begin the season and has already made a significant trade that resulted in a change to 40% of its starting lineup. The team is 9-2 since Jimmy Butler has joined and there are many reasons for optimism.
Let’s review shall we?
Sunday 11/25 – Jimmy heroics power 127-125 win versus Nets
The Sixers started out Sunday in Brooklyn looking sluggish and a bit slow against the Nets whose guards torched the Sixers for 3 quarters before a furious comeback capped off by a Jimmy Butler, ISO game winning 3.
The 76ers found themselves trailing in this game and needed to fight back against the onslaught of D’Angelo Russell (38 points) and Spencer Dinwiddie (31 points). The final 40 seconds of this one was wild. In that span, Embiid put the Sixers up one before Dinwiddie answered and put the Nets back up. This was followed by a JJ Redick miss and jump ball that the Sixers won before calling a timeout. Then it was Jimmy Buckets’ time. In near identical fashion to what he did against Charlotte less than a week before, Butler dribbled into a step back three-pointer and nailed it for the win. He finished with 34 points and 12 boards while Joel Embiid finished with 32 points and 12 boards.
11/28/18 Good ole’ Fashion Week Blowout 117-91 Win Versus Knicks
The Sixers were in control of this one from the jump. The team won every quarter and went on to win 117-91. Joel Embiid (26 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assist) and JJ Redick (24 points) were able to keep the Knicks at bay all game and cruised to an easy victory. JJ and Embiid talked about the 2 man game and PFO broke it down here They were able to do so without any Jimmy Butler heroics, who finished with only 7 points in a relatively easy outing for the All-Star. Mike Muscala and Furkan Korkmaz contributed 10 and 11 points respectively, and TJ McConnell was able to notch 6 points and 6 assist as well.
11/30/18 Sixers ease on down the road versus the Wiz: AKA The Headband Game AKA The Shake Game 123-98 Win
The 76ers followed up one blowout win with another one. Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons sported headbands in a showing of “defensive brotherhood” as Brett Brown put it. Eight Sixers finished in double figures, and no starter played more than 25 minutes, including only 22 minutes from Joel Embiid who was able to put up 16 points and 15 boards in that short time frame. Because the Sixers were up by so much, Shake Milton was able to make his NBA debut and had 5 points in his 11 minutes plus a big time block.
12/1/18 Paul Green Punk Rock Brunch @ Fergies Win: Everyone versus Joylessness
Look for a full story on this amazing afternoon. Famous Sixers fan and founder of the Paul Green Rock Academy, Paul led his band of merry misfits (no Misfits songs were played) into Fergie’s Pub on Samsom Street and rocked the city with punk rock classics from the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Violent Femmes, The Clash, and many more. It was an epic showcase of amazing young musical talent and energy and love of rock and roll. Paul recently joined us on TheBurner, listen here for how the Sixers need more music in their lives.
12/2/18 – Memphis BBQ 103-95 Win Versus Grizzlies
The Sixers handled the sheer professionalism and slow pace meat-grinder style of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Sixers displayed a level of maturity and calmness from start to finish. From the standpoint of tone, it had the feeling of two grown-up teams playing old man ball. The Sixers were unfazed by the Mike Conley and Marc Gasol 1-5 tandem of PnR mastery. A small moment late in the game, Joel Embiid was handling the basketball along the baseline. He lost control of the ball while going up for a contested shot against Gasol.
In perhaps a display of respect, Gasol stopped action to have an official towel the ball off. Gasol then inbounded the ball, and calmly drained a 3 from the top of the arc to bring the Grizz back within striking distance. Embiid has long cited Marc Gasol among the NBA centers he respects most, and it appears that respect is mutual.
Ben Simmons continued his week of sheer dominance. The calm, skill, and vision that Ben has always had was paired with an aggressive attacking. Kyle Anderson was virtually helpless to stop him in the first quarter.
Read Eric’s Views from 116 here