Ben Simmons shoots with conviction in win v. Memphis
In their first basketball action in 19 weeks, the Sixers got their feet wet against the Grizzlies in Orlando. Philadelphia came out of the gate hot, going on a 28-4 run in the first quarter after being down 8-2 early. In true Sixers fashion, the Grizzlies cut it single digits down the stretch. It wasn’t enough to overcome Norvel Pelle and the newfound depth of the Sixers.
The biggest takeaway from this opening scrimmage was Ben Simmons shooting willingly, with a defender in his face and not thinking twice about it. Simmons pulled up with no hesitation from the corner midway through the first quarter with a defending Kyle Anderson closing in. The shot didn’t go in but sometimes it doesn’t need to. Having Ben willing to take those shots will keep defenses honest and open up the floor for the Sixers.
Ben Simmons for three … pic.twitter.com/PAxNqoa02D
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) July 24, 2020
Early in the 3rd quarter is when the league should’ve just crowned the Sixers NBA Champions. Ben Simmons pulled up from the corner once again, with no hesitation, this time drilling the 3-pointer. I cannot recall the last time Simmons pulled up from 3 multiple times in a game (that weren’t end-of-quarter desperation attempts). Whatever psychiatric attention Ben Simmons sought after to help with his shooting, it’s clearly working to his benefit. Ben Simmons finished with his usual near triple-double recording 9 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals.
BEN SIMMONS FOR THREE! 💥 pic.twitter.com/T6Q57D7EmI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2020
Every player not named Raul Neto scored on the team and the Sixers got worthwhile contributions from their bench, most notably from Norvel Pelle. The reserve center posted 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks going 4/4 from the field including a shot from deep. The Sixers bench outscored Memphis 44-23.
Joel Embiid finished the game with 10 points and 6 rebounds in the 12 minutes after shaking off the rust. Tobias Harris had a double-double himself with 15 points and 10 rebounds shooting 6/11 from the field. The Sixers maintained their smothering defense, holding impending Rookie of the Year Ja Morant to just 7 points on 3/12 shooting. If this is what the new bubble Sixers are going to look like moving forward, it’s time to get ready for that Zoom NBA Championship parade.
Effortless no-look lob pass from Ben Simmons to Tobias Harris🔥 pic.twitter.com/gKaORYE9jz
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 24, 2020