Sixers-Raptors: Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons punish in the post, young Sixers give flashes of greatness
Observations and best and worst of Sixers v. Raptors.
Here are some takeaways and best and worst awards from the 76ers 126-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
- The Raptors were without Jonas Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka and the Sixers were acutely aware of the size advantage they would have. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons punished the Raptors in the post, scoring 27 and 26 points respectively. Beyond Simmons and Embiid, the Sixers finished with 60 points in the paint to the Raptors 44.
- Though inconsistent, the Sixers have some young pieces that could be valuable as the season wears on and even potentially in the postseason. Jonah Bolden had an exceptional defensive game on Saturday and is going to be getting some more run during the upcoming road trip, giving Brett Brown and the front office a better opportunity to evaluate what they have in him. As it stands Bolden provides an athletic big with defensive awareness that allows him to quickly guard on the perimeter and closeout, areas the Sixers desperately need help.
- With every game Furkan Korkmaz continues to grow and give flashes of his defensive capabilities, which are evolving despite going up against guys that are often bigger and stronger. Also, Korkmaz might have one of the best pump-fakes in the league, a quality he has worked on without direction from the coaching staff, and he seems to know the right times to turn to it.
- Even though the Sixers were playing a shorthanded Raptors squad, Saturday’s game was one of the Sixers best outings on both sides of the ball and that is a good thing for building momentum heading into Tuesday’s game at Boston which will be followed by four more road games.
Best and worst
Best performance: Joel Embiid took advantage of the Raptors at every turn and even though he had a couple of turnovers when he tried to handle the ball a little too much he turned in another huge first half and finished the night with a game-high 27 points to go with 11 rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal.
Worst performance: Greg Monroe, usually the Raptors third option at center, was given a huge task against the Sixers and he did not do well. He finished with just six points in a starting role and was not much of a threat on the defensive end against the Sixers.
Best defensive performance: Although the Sixers played collectively a well-rounded game on the defensive end, Jonah Bolden was a welcomed surprise. He had three blocks in the first half of the game, finished the night with four blocks and was quick to close out on multiple perimeter shots. Because of his length, size, and quickness even the Raptors more skilled shooters had trouble when Bolden came calling..
Worst statistic: The Raptors struggled from the three-point line and finished the night 10-of-40 from deep. The starting unit alone was 4-of-22. It’s going to be a hard night for any team with shooting like that.
Best statistic: The Sixers had an incredibly efficient offensive night. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and JJ Reddick finished the night shooting 70 percent from the field on 28-of-40. The Sixers as a whole shot 54.1 percent against the Raptors.
Worst of the worst: Though Pascal Siakam finished with a team-high 26 points for the Raptors he was a dreadful 0-of-6 from deep.