As trade deadline nears, 76ers continue to play good basketball, but not great – The Athletic


CHICAGO — There’s a reasonable argument to be made that the 76ers’ 119-108 victory Sunday over the shorthanded Bulls was a microcosm of Philadelphia’s season. Count the paths.

Embiid was dominant

After the Sixers lost their second straight game at Dallas on Friday, the first time Philadelphia had lost straight games in more than a month and a half, Embiid was already looking forward to Sunday morning in Chicago. After the odd game in Dallas that was delayed due to a bent rim, Sunday’s game also didn’t go as planned thanks to the United Center’s shot clocks not working.

Before the game against the Bulls, Joel Embiid said: “I’m going to be ready, so hopefully everyone will be.” As has been the case all season, Embiid was ready from the start and racked up points in a rush. He scored 12 points in just over the first five minutes of the game. Embiid finished with 40 points on 14-of-23 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 from the line as Nikola Vucevic couldn’t contain him. Embiid is now averaging an NBA-best 29.3 points per game. Since Nov. 27, the night he returned after missing three weeks due to COVID-19, Embiid has seven games over 40 points. Before that, he had played 13 such matches in his career. If he stays healthy, Embiid could try to match that number in the last 29 games.

Embiid can still play bully ball into the post, but in this game he’s leaned heavily on his improved face-up perimeter moves he’s honed over the years.


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