With a great Joel Embiid, Philly quietly masters Phoenix
The roller coaster continues for the Sixers. On a series of two defeats in a row, after winning three games in a row, they thus returned to victory this night, at home, taking the best of the Suns (100-88).
Guided by a good Joel Embiid (33 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), who was making his return to competition there, Doc Rivers’ men are now only one success away from finding a balanced balance sheet. Authoritarian on their own floor, they in any case delivered an encouraging performance against the teammates of Devin Booker (28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists).
A team of phoenix forced to run after the score throughout the game against Philadelphiadespite a slight improvement in the third quarter, and which especially saw Chris Paul going out on injury, in the first half…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— The convincing return of Joel Embiid. Absent for ten days, the Cameroonian returned to the courts last night and he did not disappoint for his recovery. Aggressive as possible, he compensated for his clumsiness in shooting (8/21) by going very regularly to the throwing line, where he simply didn’t miss anything (16/16!). Also influential in defense and valuable in creation, the All-Star pivot dominated without forcing his vis-à-vis, Deandre Ayton, reassuring the Sixers and their fans at the same time. What will allow him, too, to definitively launch his season?
— Devin Booker too lonely. Hard to blame the All-Star guard for anything today. Inspired in attack, he did his best to help his team exist when their heads were under water, and well under water in the first period. Returning from the locker room, the aggressive « D-Book » then accelerated to come back to a possession of Philadelphia, between free throws and baskets at halfway or near the circle. Unfortunately, orphaned by Chris Paul and not particularly helped by the (insufficient) contributions of Deandre Ayton or Mikal Bridges, he finally gave up in the last act. Logically…
— Chris Paul’s injury exit. Deprived since this weekend of their incumbent strong winger, Cam Johnson, for several weeks, the Suns must now deal with the physical glitches of their All-Star leader. Out in the middle of the second quarter, not to return later, he injured his right heel on a resumption of support, trying to get out of a screen. Cautious, Phoenix is now waiting to learn more about the state of health of “CP3” and its potential unavailability…
✅ George Niang. Coming off the bench, the inside-shooter of the Sixers once again proved valuable thanks to his insolent external success: 7/9 at 3-pts, career record equaled! Author of 21 points, he notably did his team a lot of good when it was in the tough offensively, at the start of the fourth quarter. Furious, and too often left alone behind the line, the 29-year-old planted 12 points in the last act, so as to wake up all his teammates and give the Suns a fatal boost.
⛔ Tyrese Maxey. Unlike Tobias Harris, who was impactful in the first quarter (13 points) before gradually fading, « T-Max » never managed to weigh in this meeting. Terribly clumsy (4/18 on shots, including 0/4 at 3-pts…), he did try to contribute differently, by grabbing a few rebounds and delivering a few assists, but his performance remains overall very average, as a relay. Joel Embid. It’s up to him to bounce back in the next game…
⛔ Torrey Craig. Replacing Cam Johnson in Monty Williams’ starting five, the 31-year-old winger ate the sheet last night: 1/6 on shots, including 1/4 at 3-pts. Known for his irregularity in attack, he rather did « honor » to his reputation and, despite his certain defensive qualities, one still wonders if the offensive limits of the former player of the Nuggets, Bucks and Pacers do not will not be worth his soon being relegated to the bench, to make way for Damion Lee, for example.
Philadelphia (5-6) : trip to Atlanta, Thursday night to Friday (1:30 a.m.).
Phoenix (7-3) : trip to Minnesota, in the night from Wednesday to Thursday (02:00).