Deibs (@mrcrockpot on Twitter) puts together his top 10 moments and plays from the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2019-2020 season. Watch the video and then along with detailed descriptions below. Please be sure to also subscribe to the TPL YouTube Channel!
October 29th Joel Embiid poster dunk and shimmy vs the Atlanta Hawks
Joel Embiids gets his man to bite on a pump fake on the 3 point line then posterizes John Collins. Joel stares him down, does a shimmy and Embiid gets a technical foul. Easily one of Joel Embiid’s best dunks of his career.
January 26th Ben Simmons steals the stage from Lebron James
Ben Simmons scored 28 points, had 10 boards and 8 assists in one of the best wins of the regular season. Ben had several nifty floaters and a massive two handed slam that gave the Sixers a 20 point cushion in the second half. Crazy to think this was the game when Lebron passed Kobe Bryant in scoring the night before he passed away. RIP Mamba.
January 17th Furkan Korkmaz with the dunk of his life
Korkmaz had 24 points 6-9 from 3 in 27 minutes in a win vs the Chicago Bulls. But the play that needs a shout out is an outrageous dunk that seemingly came out of nowhere. Korkmaz crosses up Cristiano Felicio, blows by him and delivers a massive two handed slam. Furkan had another huge game vs Chicago that we’ll get to a little bit later.
November 30th Ben Simmons steals the W vs Indiana
Ben Simmons gets two steals vs the Pacers within the last 12 seconds of the game and gave the Sixers the shocking victory.
November 23rd Josh Richardson going off for 32 points in a rout vs Miami
It was Jimmy Butler’s return to Philly and all eyes were on Butler vs his former team. But everyone had it wrong. Butler flat out sucked in this game. I have to give a quick shout out to Ben Simmons’ defense on Butler here. This one started and ended with Josh Richardson who had a crazy stretch during the 3rd quarter that helped the Sixers build a 41 point lead in the second half. Josh Richardson finished 11-15 from the floor and 6-7 from 3.
#10 October 15th Norvel Pelle has 5 blocks vs the Pistons during the Preseason.
I don’t normally freak out when watching a game. I’m normally rather composed but this was one of those moments where I completely lost it. Following Pelle’s blocks, I picked up our dog and just started running around the house. Watching Norvel Pelle block Christian Wood and do the shimmy immediately afterwards was one of my favorite moments of the season. Pelle’s shimmy was also my most used GIF throughout the regular season.
Norvel Pelle blocks Christian Wood at the rim for the last time and watching the entire bench erupt and go crazy was such a huge moment for me. If you know me then you know I’m a huge Norvel Pelle guy. I’m a Blue Coats guy. I screamed for Pelle to play throughout the 2018/19 season and to see him get a contract with the Sixers was so epic. Watching this moment unfold was surreal.
#9 Matisse Thybulle blocks Kemba Walker during the season opener
Matisse fights over the screen, prevents the Kemba Walker three point attempt and then takes his lunch money with the rejection. Josh Richardson proceeds to hit Matisse in the chest. Just an epic moment considering how much the Sixers have struggled vs the Boston Celtics during the previous few years. I immediately go back to just how dominant Matisse Thybulle was during the preseason. Matisse averaged 4 steals and 2 blocks a game in less than 20 minutes a game during the preseason. And then held Kemba Walker to just 4-18 from the floor in a huge Sixers W during the season opener. Epic.
#8 March 1st The Shake Milton game vs the LA Clippers
This wasn’t even a win. The game was in LA and I remember contemplating if I should even stay up to watch this game. Ben and Joel were both out but the Sixers showed a ton of heart and fight in this game, something we really didn’t see much of throughout the regular season. Richardson left early in the first quarter with an injury. However, Shake Milton broke an NBA record of 13 straight three pointers and scored 39 points. It was easily one of the most fun first halves of the season.
The Sixers couldn’t miss and Shake Milton had 26 points on 10-11 from the field in the first half. I remember one of the ESPN reporters admitting that she had never heard of Shake Milton prior to the game. In a season of significant lows, Shake has been really the source of hope in 2020. The fact that you have Shake Milton for 3 more years for a total of 5.5 million is one of the few bright spots moving forward. Elton Brand hasn’t made many good moves but this is by far one of the best.
#7 October 30th Joel Embiid vs Karl Anthony Towns fight
Any game between Towns and Embiid always has a higher level of hype but this one was incredibly memorable. Joel Embiid and the Sixers were destroying the Timberwolves and Embiid and Towns begin to go at it. Watching Ben Simmons give Towns the sleeper hold will never be forgotten. I remember Sixers Twitter going absolutely nuts. When you think of the Sixers season, it has been pretty much a disaster. It’s crazy to think that the Sixers were 5-0 to start the season and on top of the world. I don’t know about you but that feeling of excitement and hope feels like an eternity ago.
#6 Furkan Korkmaz lights it up before the All-Star break
34 points vs Memphis. 31 points vs Chicago. And then 0 points vs the Clippers but the Sixers won that game so we won’t go there. Going back to those two games, Furkan shot 13-20 from three point range and was a +29 on the court. His shot was completely wet but when I think of this stretch for Furkan I go straight to the dunk vs the Chicago Bulls.
With 4 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter and the Sixers up 8, Korkmaz receives the handoff from Tobias and does an emphatic one handed dunk. That dunk, and watching his teammates on the bench freak out, was just another breakout moment for Furkan this season.
#5 February 24th Joel Embiid’s 49 points vs the Atlanta Hawks
This was a crazy time to be a Sixers fan. The Sixers inability to win on the road was really showing its ugly head during this time period. 4 straight wins then 4 straight losses. Some really bad losses to the Hawks a week prior and then vs the Cleveland Cavaliers. But not this game. Ben Simmons didn’t play in this one and Joel Embiid put the Sixers on his back with 49 points and 14 boards. He was 17-24 from the floor and he had a really sick one handed put back with a minute remaining in the 4th quarter.
If there was anything to take away from this game, it’s this: when Joel Embiid is having fun, the Sixers are simply unbeatable. Another epic moment from this game came with 20 seconds left. The Sixers were up 17 and Embiid goes to dribble out the clock. Kevin Huerter steals the ball from Joel and Joel gives him the finger. Another note: After coming off the bench the last 3 games, Al Horford returned to the starting lineup and tallied a whopping 7 points in 31 minutes.
#4 November 20th Ben Simmons hits his first career three pointer vs Knicks
This one isn’t a major win vs a great team or anything. It was actually a rather difficult win vs the lowly New York Knicks. But this one is all about Ben freaking Simmons and the amazing reaction from Marc Zumoff. Ben Simmons’ first three pointer came with 8:17 remaining in the first quarter. There have been a lot of legendary Marc Zumoff calls over the years but the “hold me back fam” will always be remembered as one of my personal favorites.
It took 172 games for Ben Simmons to make his first three pointer and I’lll never forget it. This was back when the Sixers were fun. They were in the middle of one of their most successful stretches of the season in that late November/early December time frame. They went 12-3 in that stretch which was followed by only 3 wins during the following 10 games.
#3 January 20th Ben Simmons’ dominance vs the Brooklyn Nets
In what was perhaps the best triple double in Ben Simmons’ career, he had 34 points, 12 boards and 12 assists. But what truly stood out from this game was his defense. Ben had 5 steals, 2 blocks and a team best 96 defensive rating. Ben was just off of average 20, 10 and 7 the week prior and being named Eastern Conference player of the week. This was a career game from Ben Simmons and a glimpse of how dominant he can be on both ends. It was his 5th straight game of 20 or more points.
#2 December 13th Joel Embiid says shut up to Shaq & Chuck vs the Boston Celtics
Shaq and Charles Barkley called out Joel Embiid for not trying hard enough and playing to his potential. Ultimately Joel Embiid agreed, but put up one of his best performances of the season with 38 points and 13 rebounds vs the Boston Celtics during a rare road win in Boston. Embiid had 16 points in the 4th quarter and some of the most epic plays of the regular season.
With 4 minutes remaining he hit a 3 pointer at the top of the arc, gave the Sixers an 8 point lead as well as an epic Tiger Woods fist pump. But another great play came when Sixers were only up 4 and Joel Embiid blocked Daniel Theiss at the rim. You could hear the souls being removed from every stinking Boston Celtics fan in that stadium. Unfogettable moment.
#1 Sixers vs Bucks Christmas Day Miracle
Such a memorable moment from Joel Embiid. Embiid had 31 points and 11 rebounds while leading the Sixers to a 69-48 lead at the half. This game also featured most energized Sixers crowd since I can remember. The Sixers had a string of 5 consecutive three pointers and shot 21-44 during the game from 3. I remember Furkan and Tobias going off from 3 throughout the game. At the moment, this was a game that seemed like a steppingstone for the Sixers to cement themselves as a contender in the NBA.
The Sixers had suffered 3 straight losses before this game. A blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks and a really bad loss to the Brooklyn Nets. This season featured so many highs and lows (definitely more lows). And after beating the Bucks, that feeling of hope and excitement was immediately taken away including a loss to the Magic and a 4-game losing streak. All on the road. This season was an emotional roller coaster. Just when you think the Sixers are getting their act together they rip out your heart again and again. This game was an excellent depiction of that.