Philly Front Office

Views from 116: 12/2 vs. Grizzlies

Welcome to Views from 116. In case you forgot, this column is a perspective from the stands for the fans. Let’s get to it.

Sixers vs. Grizzlies – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Yesterday, the 16-8 Sixers took on the 13-8 Grizzlies. The Sixers won 103-95, improving to 17-8 while the Grizzlies fell to 13-9.

Pregame:

My pal RJ and I met up at Spring Garden Station to take the subway down to the game, after learning that the Sixers would be a bit short-handed with Wilson Chandler out. We wondered if this would result in more run for Shake Milton, who debuted well in Friday’s blowout against the Wizards (unfortunately, he was a DNP-Coach’s Decision this game). Maybe next time!

Lorenzo’s never disappoints!
Once we got to the stadium, we bought some giant Lorenzo’s slices and watched warm-ups. After the success of last game, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons (and even Franklin!) were rocking headbands again. I’m all for it.

Oh and Gillie Da Kid King rang the bell..so I was feeling great about a Sixers win.

First Quarter:

Ben Simmons came out aggressive right away and got the crowd going early. Since Jimmy Butler has arrived, Ben’s played with a different streak, looking to score and get to the bucket a lot more than he did pre-trade. On both sides of the ball, Simmons and Butler are beginning to gel and they connected for a nice alley-oop in a close 1st quarter.

Other 1st quarter observations:

  • Embiid had a great chase-down block on Marshon Brooks. I love the Embiid chase-downs so much…you can always see them coming in the building about 3 seconds before they happen, and they’re genuinely exciting every time.
  • The Grizzlies play at a slower pace, and you can really feel it. Each quarter resembled a “normal” NBA game from last year, with scores in the mid-20s vs. mid-30s (which seems to be where they end up this year). Grit & Grind!
  • Mike “MOOSE” Muscala is really a fan favorite at this point. Having a name that fans can say instead of “BOO” always helps for a “new guy.”
    One pair of contestants took the Sixers Skill Challenge with ease!
  • Speaking of Muscala, he should exclusively be our backup center. While Wilson Chandler’s injury forced Amir Johnson into action tonight, there really isn’t a place for Amir in the rotation anymore. He’s lost a step on defense and never really had a step on offense. I’m a little bummed since he seems like a great guy – I’m hoping he puts a ton of effort into cheering on everyone else the rest of the season.
  • Joel Embiid absolutely tortured Ivan Rabb this quarter, putting 3 fouls on him in 4 minutes. Rabb did not see the floor again after that.
  • The Sixers Skills Challenge took place during a break this quarter. It’s a good gimmick – two teams of fans (2 per team) do a relay where a fan dribbles around obstacles, passes through a target, and then hands off to their teammate who dribbles through the obstacles and makes a layup at the opposite end. Fastest time wins. This all comes down to being able to make the pass through the target – tonight, one pair of fans was pretty quick and the other…well…not so much.
  • The Sixers won the quarter 26-25.

Second Quarter:

RJ pointed out to me this quarter that the Grizzlies were fighting through every screen (rather than switching). This seemed to give Ben Simmons enough of a first step to blow by whoever was fighting through screens to guard him. I look forward to watching how Ben continues to fare against this sort of defensive strategy throughout the season – I’m hoping he’s able to take advantage of it like he did tonight on a consistent basis. He absolutely owned the first half, which was important since the half (and game) was relatively quiet for Embiid.

Other notes:

  • The always fun fast-lane money-grab gimmick happened this quarter. It’s the game where the Pennsylvania Lottery sponsors a fan’s chance to step into a windy phone-booth and catch as much loose cash as possible. The contestant did a reasonable job using her hands but probably would have caught more cash if she incorporated her clothing a little more (some contestants stuff cash up their sleeves, others bucket the bottom of their shirt to catch more). All in all, though, she did pretty well.
    Quick! Grab the cash!
  • The Big Head race took place this quarter as well, which is a thing where three giant “big heads” of players (tonight, Embiid, Butler, and Simmons) are passed across rows/sections of fans. The row assigned to Butler’s head won by a landslide. Just ONCE I want someone to take the giant head and sprint out of the stadium. If anyone does this and proves to me that they did, I will gladly reward them with $50 cash.
  • The Sixers really got it going and won the quarter 28-19, up 54-44 at the half. Solid lead!

Third Quarter:

The Sixers played the Grizzlies to a 24-24 draw this quarter and maintained their 10 point lead into the 4th quarter. While there were definitely some nice plays from our guys this quarter, an odd amount of fun for me was happening in the stands and during the breaks:

  • The pirate vendor (who I mentioned in the write-up for the home-opener) is a fine purveyor of beer who screams “YARRGH!!” as much as he screams “YUENGLING!”. This man frequents my section often and is always enjoyable – tonight, particularly so. You see, a fan behind me thought he could haggle with The Pirate Vendor and talk him down from $12.50 for a beer to $11.50. The Pirate Vendor was having none of it and also refused to break character, resulting in this exchange:
    • FAN: “Can you do better than $12.50? How about $11.50?”
      PIRATE VENDOR: “No, thar, sorry matey”
    • FAN: “Come on man, help me out”
    • PIRATE VENDOR: “YARGH!”
    • FAN: “You can’t go lower?”
    • PIRATE VENDOR: “YARGH!”
    • FAN: “No?”
    • PIRATE VENDOR: “YARGH!”
    • FAN: “No?”
    • PIRATE VENDOR: “YARGH!”
    • FAN: “OK… $12.50 it is.”
      The Simba Cam remains wonderful.
  • As usual, the 3rd quarter was a solid stadium gimmick quarter:
    • There was some questionable play during the Musical Chairs game, as the winner kept her hand on the chair for nearly the entire final round. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. Still though, I’m willing to give this woman the benefit of the doubt – she exhibited great box-out form and pushed the other person out of the chair. She simply wanted it more.
    • The Simba Cam returned with many people raising any child they could find up into the air. This cam never disappoints and has quietly been the best addition to the fan gimmicks this season.
    • The fixed Golden Nugget shuffle (my offer of a $20 reward to lose still stands) happened and guess what? Can you believe it? The contestant guessed right!
  • The Sixers were up 78-68 heading into the 4th.

Fourth Quarter:

This was the only quarter the Sixers lost (25-27), and I wasn’t thrilled with how many minutes Embiid had to play (it felt like he played the whole quarter on his way to 38 min total tonight). I attribute the Sixers’ ability to hold on and win this to two additions, both new this season:

  • Jimmy Butler, who has been clutch, clutch, clutch since joining the squad. He came in when the Sixers were up 3 with 9 minutes to go and helped them maintain their lead, eventually pushing them to an 8 point win against a good Grizzlies team.
  • This dance cam fan, who has put up just as many clutch performances as Jimmy Butler on the 4th quarter Dance Cam:
    Clutch comes in many forms

Sixers WIN 103-95. Say it with me: “Fresh water. $1 pretzels.”

Next time I’m in 116, I’ll share some more views. Until then: 1-2-3-4-5-Sixers!

Eric Marturano

I am a Sixers season ticket holder. Trust the Process.
I predicted that Nick Foles would win Super Bowl MVP after Wentz went down. Go Birds.

Follow me @TheEMart on Twitter, or listen to my podcast (Two Paisani & A Pizza) on iTunes, here at PFO, or our homebase website
(http://necessaryroughnesspodcast.blogspot.com/)

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