The Philadelphia 76ers won their fifth straight game tonight, despite a 60-point performance from Bradley Beal, 141-136.
After surrendering a 21-point lead, the Sixers managed to close out the feisty Washington Wizards.
Here are my five takeaways from tonight’s game:
1. Seth Curry
Curry is currently fifth, in the NBA, in 3 point percentage, at 54.3%. To be honest, it doesn’t even seem like he missed any shots this season.
Tonight, he picked up right where he left off last game, with some smoking hot shooting.
The Sixers sharpshooter shot 6-7 (6 straight makes) from 3-point land, on the way to a season-high 28 points.
He has been an excellent addition to this team and he’s only getting more comfortable.
2. Shake Milton
Prior to the season and after the first game, where he scored 19 points, I said Shake Milton was a dark horse candidate for the sixth man of the year award. In the six games since then, Shake has averaged only 10.8 points on 38% shooting.
Tonight Shake looked like the player I predicted at the start of the season, finishing with 19 points and 3 assists on 6-9 shooting.
The Sixers are going to need performances like this, off the bench, more consistently from Shake.
3. We got shooters!!!!
The Philadelphia 76ers are fun again. We have two superstars dominating almost every night, we have players that can create their own shots, we have spacing, and……. WE GOT SHOOTERS!
The defensive gameplan for the Wizards appeared to be “let them shoot.” The Sixers would end the game shooting 18-29 from 3 (12-15 first half).
Four players hit at least two, led by Seth Curry’s 6 made 3-pointers.
The Sixers can really shoot the ball and teams officially have to make an important decision between doubling Embiid (leaving open 3’s) or leaving their centers on an island with the superstar (MVP type performances from Joel).
4. Ben Simmons
When Ben Simmons feels like getting in the paint and scoring or getting to the line, he does it. He is virtually unguardable, between his size, speed, and athleticism.
As I mentioned in a previous article, those urges to score or get to the line are not there on a consistent basis.
Simmons, in the first half, led with 12 points & 5 assists on 5-5 shooting. He got to the rim at will and when he did, he scored, got fouled, or found an open teammate.
He would finish with 17 points and 12 assists, and a clutch and-one layup to seal the game.
These Jekyll and Hyde Simmons games can’t continue. If the Sixers want to win the title, they need an engaged Simmons at all times.
5. Play of the game
You tend to see Hakeem Olajuwon comparisons when speaking about Joel Embiid and tonight’s play of the game showed you why. The superstar finished the game with a stellar 38 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, & 3 blocks.
The Sixers play tomorrow night, on a back to back, vs the eastern conference power, Brooklyn Nets. #HereTheyCome