CLEVELAND — Happy Monday, folks!
We finally made it to the final week of 2020. if you’re anything like me, you definitely can’t wait for 2021. Something tells me the Sixers can’t wait to play the Toronto Raptors tomorrow night at the Wells Fargo Center. That’s because they’ll attempt to erase memories of Sunday night’s 118-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.
You’re signed up to get this newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you like what you’re reading, tell your friends it’s free to sign up here. I want to know what you think, what we should add, and what you want to read, so send me feedback by email or on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers. Thank you for reading.
— Keith Pompey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Harris finding his rhythm
Tobias Harris was one of the Sixers’ few positives Sunday. The power forward is starting to find more offensive rhythm after struggling in the opener.
Harris scored a team-high 16 points, making 4 of 6 three-pointers, in the blowout loss. That came one night after he finished with 17 points and hit 2 of 5 three-pointers in a 20-point road victory over the New York Knicks.
But Harris missed 3 of 13 shots — including all four of his three-pointers — en route to scoring 10 points in Wednesday’s season-opening victory over the Washington Wizards.
“This thing is going to take time for us, as you see tonight,” he said Sunday of blending in with new teammates. “For me, it’s just to go out there and do the things that I do best. I’m a rhythm player, so finding my rhythm as we continue to progress game after game.
“At the same time, being aggressive when I need to be.”
For Harris, it’s just about doing whatever he can to help the Sixers win. He knows the team has a lot of players capable of doing different things in any given game. So his goal is to be comfortable with how his performance helps propel the Sixers to victory.
Cavaliers take advantage of Joel Embiid’s absence in 118-94 rout of Sixers. The Cavs scored 35 points off the Sixers’ 21 turnovers. Simmons had 6 of those turnovers.
Mutual trust translated to good start for Doc Rivers and the Sixers. “The one thing to me is he believes in us,” Ben Simmons said. “And he’s not going to lie to you and say you can change what you can’t do.”
Sixers-Knicks best and worst: Joel Embiid remains unstoppable, Ben Simmons locks down R.J. Barrett, and Seth Curry provides sharpshooting Philly acquired him for.
Sixers rout Knicks, 109-89, led by Joel Embiid. Rivers takes 10th place on the NBA all-time wins list.
Doc Rivers and his Sixers coaching staff’s leadership, teaching moments on full display | Podcast. I also talk about being fortunate to spend Christmas with family for the first time in eight years.
A half to forget
The Dallas Mavericks held a commanding 50-point halftime lead en route to destroying the Los Angeles Clippers, 124-73, on Sunday.
Dallas took a commanding, 77-27 halftime cushion. The Mavs led by as many as 57 points before maintaining at least a 40-point lead the rest of the way. The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard (mouth laceration) and Marcus Morris (right knee soreness). So that should take away a lot of the criticism. But trailing by 50 is trailing by 50.
Tomorrow: Toronto Raptors at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Thursday: Sixers at Orlando Magic, 6:30 p.m., Amway Center, NBA Sports Philadelphia
Sunday: Charlotte at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jan 4: Charlotte at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Jan. 6: Washington Wizards at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBA Sports Philadelphia
Passing the rock
Question: Thoughts on Markelle Fultz? — @AC3_1990 on Twitter
Answer:, What’s up, man? Thanks for the asking the question. I’m actually kind of happy for him. Fultz has been through a lot. Yet he was still rewarded with a $50 million extension. So far, that has been a wise investment. He’s averaging 20.7 points and 4.3 assists in the Orlando Magic’s first three games.