Here are some takeaways from the 76ers’ victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The 76ers needed an early spark and it was provided by Raul Neto off the bench. Neto was beating players off the dribble, getting to the basket with ease, hitting threes and dishing off to his teammates. Entering the game, Neto’s season high had been 13 points and he beat that by halftime with 19. It wasn’t just the scoring but his all-around game. In the first half in which the Sixers led 59-54, Neto had zero turnovers. Neto didn’t have much impact in the second half, but he saved the day by keeping the Sixers afloat in the first half.
After missing nine games with a torn ligament in left ring finger. , Joel Embiid returned. He only had two full practices, so one had to wonder about his stamina. Embiid held up fairly well, although against a much smaller Golden State team, it would have been more advised to see him play more in the post. That said, Embiid didn’t appear to be laboring going up and down the court and Golden State had all sorts of problems guarding him.
Guarded by Dramond Green, Ben Simmons had a rough first half on both ends of the court. Green was giving up about four inches, but he made up for it by his physical play and limited the times that Simmons was able to blow by him. On the other end, Simmons was guarding his old high school teammate D’Angelo Russell, who doesn’t use blinding speed, but is able to slice through defenders. In the first half Simmons had two points and Russell had 14. Simmons stepped it up in the third quarter, with nine points. He was being more aggressive going to the basket, which is when he is at his best.
For a team that is now 10-38, Golden State played hard and kept fighting even when getting down by nine in the first half. The Warriors entered the fourth quarter down, 86-82 and coach Steve Kerr had his undermanned group playing with a lot of enthusiasm.