3 observations: Sixers ride hot shooting to beat Magic on the road

Ky Carlin
·3 min read

The Philadelphia 76ers had themselves a long 2020, but they ended the year the right way on Thursday as they went into the Amway Center and knocked off the Orlando Magic 116-92. They had a terrific night from deep as they shot 15-for-33 on the night from beyond the arc and the Magic had no answer for it and they led by as many as 38.

Joel Embiid had 21 points and nine rebounds and Seth Curry added 21 points to lead Philadelphia while Tobias Harris poured in 20 with nine rebounds and Ben Simmons had nine points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists while knocking down his first 3-pointer of the season.

With that said, here are the three observations in this one:

Ball movement

This has been something that coach Doc Rivers has been preaching with his team to begin the season and there have been so many instances where they have done a good job of that in a game. On Thursday, it was crisp as ever. The ball was whipping around and it led to plenty of open looks from deep. The ball movement and player movement was so good that even guys like Simmons and Matisse Thybulle were able to knock down some open looks from deep. The star duo of Embiid and Simmons attracts so much attention that there will be opportunities for guys to have nights like this one. They did not convert those opportunities against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, but they took full advantage on Thursday as they knocked down 10 in the first half alone.

Bench mob

This has been another really big development to begin the season. The Sixers are building a bench that they can count on for the future and this one was another example of that coming to fruition. Thybulle had not yet scored all season and his playing time has been sparse, yet when his number was called he stepped in and produced. That was one of the more impressive things about this game as Thybulle stayed within himself and he helped the team. Other than Thybulle, Shake Milton continued to produce off the team’s bench as did Dwight Howard and Tyrese Maxey. Howard shook off the boos he received from the many Magic fans in attendance and he used his physicality around the basket and he allowed Embiid to get his rest. Maxey also continues to show a burst of speed to the basket that should be taken seriously in the future.

Tobias Harris' decisiveness

Harris had a very strong game against the Raptors and he kept that going against the Magic. The difference is Harris is getting into his moves a lot quicker and he is a guy who is stepping into a role as a leader. There was not thinking with Harris in this one. He caught it, went into a move, and it resulted in either a bucket or a play for somebody else. There was one specific play in the second quarter where he went coast to coast and finished a tough layup in transition that was impressive. This is the guy the Sixers will need as the season moves forward.

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