Three observations from Sixers’ win vs. Hornets
The Philadelphia 76ers took the floor in Charlotte once again Wednesday night for a rematch with the depleted Hornets. Similar to Monday’s matchup, the Hornets managed to hang around and make things interesting. Despite a small push late in the fourth quarter, the Sixers managed to hold on and extend their winning streak to three games. Here are some observations from the victory.
1) Seth Curry bounces back
The first meeting between these teams was a night to forget for Seth Curry, but he managed to bounce back tremendously on Wednesday. He ended the night as the Sixers’ second-leading scorer with 23 points to go along with four rebounds and eight assists.
hometown kid putting on a show.🎞️ pic.twitter.com/18b1lRyIvm
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 9, 2021
This is the type of performance to expect for someone playing in their hometown. The sharpshooting guard managed to end this quick stop home on a high note.
When Curry gets going, it makes the Sixers a much harder team to defend. When he needs to be accounted for on the perimeter, it allows Joel Embiid to see more one-on-one matchups around the rim. Shooters are bound the have the occasional off night, and it looks like Curry has quickly gotten himself back on track.
2) Supporting cast provides a lift
Early in the season, heightened play from the supporting cast was a major catalyst in the Sixers’ success. Players were empowered and managed to contribute on a nightly basis. This team-wide attack has been somewhat absent in their recent stretch but was apparent in Wednesday’s win.
The Sixers outscored the Hornets 25-13 in terms of bench points. Each player Doc Rivers brought off the bench provided a lift to help keep this team in the win column. Some of the notable standouts were Shake Milton (8 points, 3 assists), Andre Drummond (8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals), and Georges Niang (5 points).
Contributions from all over is crucial for the Sixers, as they still have an All-Star-sized hole to fill in the box score. Not to mention it takes pressure off Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris to carry the load on a nightly basis. This showing from the second unit might not pop off the box score, but their effort on both ends was an underrated factor in this victory.
3) Joel Embiid continues to dazzle
Joel Embiid was the biggest standout on Monday and put on another dominant showing Wednesday. The All-Star center was the team’s leading scorer with 32 points while racking up eight rebounds and four assists.
It might not be on par with the masterclass we saw in the first meeting, but Charlotte still had no answer for Embiid. He left his mark all over the game and punished the Hornets for their lack of size. Embiid shot a solid 8-for-17 from the floor while converting 15 of his 19 shot attempts.
They might have been a pair of ugly wins, but some good game from this mini-series with the Hornets. That being Embiid was able to get two good showings under his belt. He will need all the momentum he can get as he gears up for a matchup against Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz.