The 76ers young two franchise cornerstones are pretty decent! There was a particularly alarming sequence of youthful basketball dominance early on:
- Draymond Green received a technical foul after getting bullied by Ben Simmons for a tough And-One hook shot.
- Leviathan Joel Embiid canned a three that nearly exploded the roof off of the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.
- Simmons skied through the air for an emphatic dunk that raised the question of whether or not the Warriors were actually going to play defense.
The Sixers looked hyper-athletic and focused early on. The Warriors were decent offensively; they had a stellar opening salvo of 28 points. Unfortunately, Philadelphia had 47!
That’s the most the Warriors have allowed in a game since 1992 according to the Warriors’ broadcast booth. The 76ers finished the first quarter shooting 74 percent, with Robert Covington and J.J. Redick drilling some beautiful long range bombs.
Within the first minute of the second stanza, I witnessed “Trust The Process” chants rain down for an Embiid free throw line trip. He missed his first free throw, and David West barked “Ohhh…BALL DON’T LIE THOUGH!” Hilarious veteran toughness, baby!
West and Green then began playing chess with Embiid, forcing the youngster into missing questionable long ranger jumpers to screw with his confidence. With each Embiid miss, the crowd lost a little air, and the combined bellows of the two Warriors burly big men began to take over the vibrations of the game. The Dubs cut the lead down to 14.
Unfortunately, despite Embiid not being much of a factor at that point, Simmons decided to take over. He would finish the half with 16 points and 8 assists on 7-of-8 shooting from the field.
He dribbled by, or through, Andre Iguodala, David West, Omri Casspi, and any other body the Warriors threw at him. When his path was clogged, he smoothly dished to other 76ers to keep the ball movement flowing. When he had a window of opportunity, he seized it hungrily to score.
Embiid reentered late in the quarter and got his mojo back by repeatedly out hustling the Dubs around the basket to surge the 76ers to a 74-52 halftime lead. The youngsters shot 60% at the half, 50% from three. The Dubs were a step slow on defense and inaccurate on offense.
The usual Warriors third quarter surge hit, and not a second too soon. The lead went from 22 down to 13 within the first four minutes.
As the champs started activating “Ultra Rage Splash Mode” and chomping down the lead, there was a bizarre play where Embiid recklessly chased down Zaza Pachulia on sure a layup attempt. The Process didn’t process what the hell his body was doing and he dangerous crashed into Zaza’s back as the ball entered the net, before slamming head first into the basket stanchion at an awkward angle.
As Embiid writhed on the ground in pain, the inevitable “Zaza The Hitman” tweets rolled.
Keep your stars away from Pachulia— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) November 19, 2017
The air left the stadium, and the Warriors violently dragged Philly deeper into anxiety by playing their brand of smart, efficient, basketball. The Sixers cooled off, and the Warriors defense picked up. Even Embiid’s eventual return was useless as the team from the Bay frustrated him and Sixers coach Brett Brown into flabbergasted technical fouls.
Behind Curry’s deadly, cobra-like offensive attack (6-for-6 on FG’s, 20 points in the third) and Kevon Looney’s tremendous defense on Embiid, the young 76ers were torn apart. When the smoke had cleared for the quarter, the Warriors slapped up a 47 point quarter of their own (a season high). The Dubs outscored them by 32 points to go up 99-89.
West ripped the vocal cords out of the noisy Philly crowd early in the quarter with his usual combination of mid range jumpers and clever defense. He and the rest of the Warriors bigs (Looney +19 in ten minutes) really neutered Embiid’s effectiveness.
Durant then hit a trick shot to send Embiid home with a shiny new YouTube highlight embarrassment for his troubles.
The Warriors would calmly tighten their chokehold over the “City of Brotherly Love” until the 76ers slumped into unconsciousness, completing a season sweep of the youngsters.
A W is a W
Curry would finish with 35 points on 11-of-22 shooting (4-of-9 from three). Durant poured in 27 points, and West only missed one shot (an air-balled trey) on his way to 14 points and 7 rebounds off of the bench.
Embiid fought his way to 21 points and 8 rebounds, but also had 5 turnovers. Simmons monster 23 point, 8 rebound, 12 assist effort went in vain as he could not assert himself once the Warriors adjusted in the second half. The Warriors defense held the 76ers to 49% shooting and asserted their dominance over the promising youngsters.
The champs have to keep the show rolling on the road as they head off to Brooklyn tomorrow for a game at 3 P.M. PST against the Nets.
Nothing like getting the W after a wild game like that, right folks?