Philadelphia 76ers: Three observations from win vs. Thunder
The Philadelphia 76ers took the court Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, looking to bounce back from a late-game loss against the Brooklyn Nets. The Sixers held the Thunder at bay for the majority of the game and staved off a rally in the fourth quarter to win by a final score of 115-1o3.
Here are some observations from the Sixers victory.
Three-point shooting battle
In today’s game, the three-point shot has become a focal point of most NBA offenses. The Sixers have been average at best when letting it fly from deep, but that was not the case against the Thunder. Not only did they get 41 attempts from beyond the arc, but connected on 17 of them for 41.5 percent.
Three-point shooting was a major factor in the contest. The Sixers got hot early from deep and managed to not surrender many triples. The Thunder hit half as many three-pointers, knocking down just eight of their 31 attempts for 25.8 percent.
With the offense centered around Joel Embiid more than ever, outside shooting is going to be crucial. If the Sixers can continue to shoot at a clip like this, it will drastically open the floor for the All-Star big man.
Joel Embiid continues to do it all
Heading into the matchup, Embiid was a game-time decision. Not only did last season’s MVP runner-up take the floor, but he turned in a good night at the office.
When all was said and done, Embiid tallied 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal, and three blocks. Through three games, he has done an incredible job of filling up the box score and doing it all for the Sixers on both ends.
We have gotten a small glimpse of a system fully focused around Embiid, and it is scary. After being one of the most dominant players in the league last year, he looks to be taking another step in his game. He has maintained his dominance as a scorer but continues to get better at facilitating at the elbows and around the rim.
There is no telling how long things will be catered to Embiid like they are now, but we should just enjoy the ride.
Seth Curry continues to shoot the lights out
Another early standout for the Sixers this season has been Curry. The sharpshooting guard started off scorching hot against the Thunder and finished as the team’s leading scorer for the second straight game.
In the first quarter alone, Curry scored 23 of his 28 points. He did so with incredible efficiency, hitting eight of his 10 attempts. Curry finished the game shooting 9-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Performances like this are why Sixers’ players and coaches are eager for Curry to be more aggressive offensively. When he gets in a rhythm, he can rack up points in a hurry. When he is hunting shots, the offense is tough to stop. Defenses are forced to pick their poison between swarming Embiid or giving the deadeye shooter clean looks from deep.
Moving forward, there is no reason why Curry shouldn’t have a similar volume from long distance on a nightly basis.