Giving it everything: Scoring, steals, drawing charges, passing to the open man. T.J. McConnell continues to give everything he has. Sometimes he looks frantic and he's hard on himself when he makes a mistake, but he's doing more than enough to try to silence any doubters of what he brings to the Sixers. He added a ferocity in the third-quarter that helped bring the momentum back on the Sixers' side. Fortunately the Sixers were able to close out so that all his work wasn't for nothing. McConnell shot 70 percent and finished with 15 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and a steal.
Spreading the wealth: The Sixers hit a season-high 16 threes, and they did it without J.J. Redick, the teams newly acquired sharpshooter. Not only did they hit often from beyond the arc, but seven different players were a part of the three-point scoring. Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, T.J. McConnell, Justin Anderson, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot all contributed from deep.
Starting Saric: With Redick sidelined with some back soreness, Dario Saric was inserted into the starting lineup — territory he is familiar with from last season. His three-point shooting woes seemed to diminish as he finished with 12 points shooting 57.1 percent from three. More importantly he spent less time playing the center in a small lineup and was clearly more comfortable. Moving forward the best way is to utilize Saric.
Turnover process: Joel Embiid will absolutely have to cut down on his turnovers if the Sixers want to succeed. What's worse is that his turnovers seem to come at crucial moments. Against the Mavericks, the Sixers twice had a chance to continue a run and extend a lead, but because of Embiid turnovers, the Mavericks broke the Sixers rhythm and scored on the miscues. Embiid finished with 23 points and nine rebounds but also had a glaring seven turnovers in the Sixers second win of the season.
Closing out: Even when the offense went cold in the closing minutes, the Sixers relied on defense and did not foul. This is a look that we haven't seen from the Sixers this season. They're M.O. has been to fall apart in the closing moments with a combination of lacking defense and sloppy offense. Against Dallas, they kept their cool, despite missing shots and a tight game on the line they came away with a win on the road. This time, Embiid was not left on the perimeter but found his way inside and was able to hold off the Mavericks for the first time since 2005.