The Philadelphia 76ers (2-2) fell short in overtime, 133-132, against the Pistons (3-0) after coming off back-to-back wins. For the Sixers, it was tough to hang in there knowing that Ben Simmons wasn’t available due to back soreness. While an overtime loss is always tough to swallow, the 76ers still had some bright spots. You’ll hear plenty on Twitter and elsewhere about how poorly they defended (for lack of a better term) Blake Griffin or questioning Brett Brown’s decision to not play Markelle Fultz during crunch time. So I would rather focus on those bright spots from tonight’s loss that the Sixers can build on moving forward.
My Standout Stars for the Sixers:
Joel Embiid had a very good performance. His physical playing style was off the hook, as he was full of energy and athleticism all the way through the game. He ended up having 33 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. He was really consistent throughout the whole game. Lastly, in one point of the game, he had an incredible block while guarding Pistons’ star Blake Griffin. His effort on the defensive end tonight was awesome to see. Embiid’s play to start this year has been nothing short of spectacular.
J.J Redick was cooking from long range again. The Pistons’ defense couldn’t stop his high arcing shot. With bucket after bucket, including a huge 4-point play that put the Sixers in a position to win at the end of overtime, JJ kept piling up his high scoring output to begin the season. It’s truly a joy and amazing to watch how speedy quick his release is. Redick finished with 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Markelle Fultz put in a ton of offseason work over this past summer and is finally showing signs of being the hooper the Sixers thought they were getting when they drafted him number one overall a year ago. He knocked down another three point shot at one point in tonight’s game; it was nothing but net. He needs to keep firing away on the offensive end and make sure he just continues to consistently improve.
Overall, the 76ers looked great at times tonight and did an excellent job moving the ball in transition and getting back on defense. However, the man of the night for the Detroit Pistons was Blake Griffin. He was 20 for 35 from the floor and finished with 50 points. This was one of many areas where Ben Simmons’ presence was sorely missed.
Sixers’ power forward Dario Saric had 14 points, 8 rebounds but was a horrendous 2 for 11 at the three point line. He definitely didn’t show up with his needed floor stretching ability tonight. The Pistons, however, had little trouble from behind the arc, highlighted by five from Blake Griffin.
Finally for the Sixers, Landry Shamet and Mike Muscala played a big role in tonight’s game. It was a tight do-or-die, tit-for-tat battle the whole way through and neither team wanted to back down. In the end, however, the 76ers are now 2-2 heading to Milwaukee for tomorrow’s match up against the 3-0 Bucks, and then they fly home to play against Charlotte back in front of the home crowd. Fingers crossed that Ben Simmons will be back healthy and be ready to go come 9:30 p.m tomorrow.