Here are my main takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers' 109-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center:
– Joel Embiid has turned into a double-double machine. His 39-point, 17-rebound performance marked his NBA-leading ninth double-double of the season. He's also the first Sixer since Moses Malone in the 1984-85 campaign to post nine double-doubles in the first 10 games.
– JJ Redick continues to show why the Sixers were smart to re-sign him. He's the team's most consistent player in regards to double-figure scoring. The shooting guard had 16 points, marking his 19th consecutive game with 10 or more points dating back to last season.
-In his brief debut, Wilson Chandler had a couple glimpses on why coach Brett Brown was excited about acquiring him in an off-season trade for the Denver Nuggets. Folks will point out he had four fouls in 9 minutes, 30 seconds of action. But he had an imposing presence that was missing from the backup group the first nine games. He's also a good passer with a high basketball IQ.
-Playing acceptable defense – not making shots – apparently is the key for Markelle Fultz to get minutes over T.J. McConnell. Despite making just 1 of 6 shots for four points, the Sixers opted to stick with Fultz because he's showing defensive improvement. He made two steals and a block against the Pistons.
-It's obvious that Sixers lack the reserve shooting that propelled them into being the NBA's hottest team heading into last season's playoffs. However, they're good enough to match last season's start through 10 games by improving to 6-4. This marks the first time they had back-to-back winning records through 10 games since the 2011-12 (7-3) and 2012-13 (6-4) seasons.
Best and worst
Best performance: This was easy. Embiid gets this for the second consecutive game, finishing with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds for the seventh time this season. Thirty-two of his points came before intermission to set an arena first-half scoring record. He made 18 of 23 foul shots, both career highs.
Worst performance: There's no way Stanley Johnson could have avoided receiving this. The Pistons small forward failed to show up on the offensive end. He missed six of his seven shots en route to finishing with two points. He was 0-for-4 on three-pointers.
Best defensive performance: This was tough because Embiid had two blocks. But Ben Simmons gets it for having a game-high five steals.
Worst statistic: This goes to Pistons center Andre Drummond having as many fouls (three) than shot attempts (three, all misses) in 4:22 of action in the first half.
Best statistic: I gave this to Embiid making 15 of 17 foul shots in the first half. His 15 makes were the most by an NBA player in a half this season.