By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after being blasted by the New York Knicks on Tuesday night. They returned to Philly for the first of a four-game homestand starting with the Detroit Pistons tonight. Philly used a high-powered shooting night to blast Detroit 110-102.
Philly jumped on the Pistons from the opening tip they hit their first three shots. Joel Embiid led them. He had a better offensive performance tonight than he did on Tuesday. He scored 12 of his 30-points by the end of the first quarter. There was nothing Detroit’s defenders could do to stop him. It did not matter if they doubled him, he just overpowered them and got them in foul trouble. He also found the open man using his improved playmaking skills. Which propelled the offense. He has had to do a lot more so far in the early season on both sides of the ball in the absence of Ben Simmons. Which has caused him to look gassed in some of their games. He has been doing a lot more to help Philly stay in games. He was able to rest in tonight’s contest. However, he will need his teammates to help him out a little bit more like they did tonight.
Forward Tobias Harris picked up right where he left off on Tuesday night. He was there to pick-up Embiid, and he also bullied the smaller Pistons’ defenders. He had his way from the perimeter and the paint and kept forward Jerami Grant in checked. At times Grant struggled getting his shot off thanks to Harris’ aggressive defense. He has improved on that end and scored 17-points tonight. He was a big part of a third quarter offensive surge that helped the Sixers pull away.
Despite the strong performances of Embiid and Harris. Detroit was able to hang in until late in the fourth quarter. They were able to chip away a 20-point fourth quarter lead. Thanks to a strong night from their second unit. They scored 49 of the Pistons 102-points. Philly had no answers for their second unit.
On the team’s performance, “We need to get way better. I mean, no disrespect to Detroit but they haven’t won a game. So we can’t be happy about our performance tonight. There’s nothing to be happy about,” said Embiid.
Not to be outdone Philly got a big night from their second unit. They got guard Shake Milton back which bolstered their performance. He scored 13-points in his season debut and his shot creation and playmaking really helped the second unit out. His scoring will be needed on a second unit who have struggles scoring at times. The fact that Milton has never seen a shot he did not like will help that unit. He may be the missing piece on an improved bench unit.
On the return of Milton, “It was great to have Shake and bake back. He did really well today,” said Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey.
Philly will now have a day off. To prepare for the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. This will be an important game for them not only because it is a revenge game. Additionally, this match-up should be a good indicator of where the Sixers are in the wide-open Eastern Conference. Its early in the season but Philly will need a great night on both sides of the ball if they want their fourth win of the season.