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Philadelphia 76ers: Three Observations from Win vs. Kings

76ers celtics, 76ers observations

The Philadelphia 76ers took the floor Monday night for the fifth game of their season-long six-game road trip. Next up on their schedule was a matchup with the Sacramento Kings

Heading into the matchup, the Sixers found themselves heavily depleted once again. With Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Danny Green, and Joel Embiid all out, Doc Rivers was without 80% of his opening night starting lineup. Despite this, they still managed to come away with a 102-94 victory.

Here are some 76ers observations from the matchup. 

76ers Observations

1) Matisse Thybulle shines on both ends of the floor 

Matisse Thybulle made his return to action Saturday against the Blazers and was thrust into the starting lineup Monday. In just his second game back, the defensive specialist managed to put on a strong all-around showing. 

In close to 33 minutes of action, Thybulle racked up 15 points, two rebounds, three steals, and one block. All while wreaking havoc on the Kings perimeter players. He also had an efficient night shooting, connecting on six of his eight attempts. 

As far as complete games go, this was one of Thybulle’s best as a pro. Not only did he showcase his elite-level defense, but found ways to be a contributor on the offensive end as well. Rivers had to play Thybulle extended minutes, and the 24-year-old found ways to be productive on both ends of the floor. 

Games like this are a prime example of why it is so crucial for Thybulle to find his way on the offensive end. When he can stay on the floor for long stretches, it allows him to be an X-factor for the 76ers with his defense. 

2) Andre Drummond continues to come up big 

When the 76ers signed Andre Drummond in the offseason, it was for situations like this. While they didn’t anticipate it being for such a long stretch, the former All-Star has done a great job filling in for Joel Embiid. 

Drummond’s performance Monday was arguably his best of the road trip. He ended the night with nine points, 23 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three blocks. 

Showings like this are an example of why Drummond should still be a starting center in this league. Some might argue his stats don’t impact the game, but his effort was a key factor in the Sixers’ success against the Kings. He was a force on the offensive and defensive glass and did a tremendous job as the Sixers’ last line of defense. 

Drummond knew there would be times when his number would be called to fill in for Embiid, and he continues to be the best backup the team has had for their franchise big man. 

3) Endless competitive effort by 76ers

To put it simply, things have not been easy for the Sixers in their recent stretch. Between playing with a depleted roster and a jam-packed schedule, their backs have been against the wall. That being said, this group continues to fight night in and night out. 

No matter the circumstances or opponent, the Sixers have given teams their best shot every game. Sometimes they have fallen just short, but they were rewarded for their resilience against the Kings. 

This was a game the Sixers could have easily just packed in and accepted a loss, but they continue to compete from start to finish. When the game was tight in the final minutes, the Sixers managed to make plays on both ends of the floor to steal a win on the road. 

Playing without a plethora of your top players is no easy task, but the 76ers are not in the business of making excuses. It’s like they always say, good teams always find a way to win.