By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to rebound after falling to the Miami Heat on Saturday night. They faced the Chicago Bulls who were looking extend their misery and get their first win of the season against Philly. The Sixers used a second quarter offensive explosion to rout Chicago 121-106.
The Sixers started the game very strongly they made their first few shots and got an early lead. Joel Embiid led them he scored 19 of his 43-points by half-time. He was able to get whatever he wanted from the field. Chicago had no one on the court tonight who could match-up with him. He was hitting shots from the three-point line, perimeter, and paint. He continues to be the main offensive cog for the Sixers and his game is gelling very well with James Harden. Their budding chemistry will continue to be a point of focus with 18-games left in the season.
Despite the offensive explosion from Embiid. The Bulls weathered the early storm and were able to re-take the lead. They were threatening to run Philly off their home-floor as they had an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter. The explosive duo of Zach LaVine (26-points) and DeMar DeRozan (23-points) led them. They combined for 49 of Chicago’s 104-points. They got whatever they wanted against Philly’s defense. Especially in the first half. Philly began to trap and double team them to force the ball out of their hands. Chicago’s role players could not make Philly pay for that defensive adjustment.
When the Sixers needed it most their bench stepped up. Led by Georges Niang who scored 14-points and was money from beyond the arc. As he hit four three-pointers. His touch from beyond the arc has become more important as he is now one of the main scoring punches off the bench. He has become the clear sixth man on this team and he is a pivotal piece off the bench. His spot in the rotation is secured, but the other spots off the bench are in flux. As Coach Rivers is trying to work out who he can use off the bench come playoff time. The second unit will continue to be a point of improvement for Philly, but they have 18-games to get the rotations together especially that back-up center spot behind Embiid with the addition of DeAndre Jordan.
On the performance of his team, “We’re pretty good. But we’re not even close to where we can be,” said Embiid.
Philly now will prepare to face the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. They will need another balance scoring night. Additionally, they will need to improve their perimeter defense to keep Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in check if they want to get their 41st victory of the season.