Emcooked Pacers

By: Kylan Watson

The Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up their three-game road trip by facing the Indiana Pacers in their final match-up of the season. The Pacers are a tough team with an athletic backcourt that usually gives Philly fits. However, tonight both squads were missing their point guards and that did not slow them down. As Philly continued their offensive momentum to drown Indiana 141-121.

Despite playing last night the Sixers did not let tired legs stop them as they jumped on Indiana from the opening tip-off. They were able to hit shots early and often in this game, Joel Embiid (31-points, grabbed seven rebounds, and had seven assists) Tyrese Maxey (31-points and made five three-pointers), and Tobias Harris (24-points and made four three-pointers) combined for 86 of Philly’s 141-points.  The Pacers had no answers for them as they attacked them from all sides of the court, especially Tobias Harris who had his second straight great night from field offensively. Harris getting out of his scoring slump has helped the Sixers add another dimension to their offensive game when he is on especially from the three-point line he can open up the paint for Embiid, Harden, and Maxey. His three-point ability along with arguably being the second-best defender on this team has helped Philly continue to be the hottest team in the league. This along with Embiid scoring 30-plus points for the ninth straight game (New franchise record) makes them a team most opposing squads would not want to see in the postseason.

The Pacers were able to continue to make things tough for Philly despite the Sixers dominant night on both sides of the court. They are a young athletic team and took full advantage of the holes in the Sixers defensive scheme. The trio of Aaron Nesmith (25-points), Andrew Nembhard (22-points), and Myles Turner (20-points) combined for 67 of Indiana’s 121-points. All three of them took full advantage of their ability to rise up and hit shots despite hands being in their faces. The Sixers just could not stop what they were doing tonight, but they did enough to make sure they did not get any help in tonight’s contest. Philly’s main weakness that showed up tonight was their inability to get back and stop the Pacers from getting an easy shot after they made a shot on the opposite end. The Sixers will need to improve on that aspect of their defensive scheme if they want to make a deep playoff run.

The Sixers will prepare for a two-game home and home series with the Chicago Bulls that starts in Philly on Monday night. They will need to stay attached to their man if they want to stifle Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan. Additionally, continuing to keep the ball moving on the offensive side has added another dimension to the Sixers offensive scheme. This allows them to find the open man for high-percentage shot opportunities. If they can do these things the Sixers will be able to get their 49th victory of the season.

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