Observations From Sixers’ Game Two Win Over Wizards
After an impressive showing against the Wizards in game one on Sunday, the Sixers took the court Wednesday looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. They took control of this game early and did not give Washington any chance to claw their way back.
When all was said and done, they walked away with a 120-95 victory. The Sixers take care of business at home before traveling to Washington to potentially put the series out of reach.
Here are some observations from their dominant showing in game two.
Sixers' big three continued dominance
The Sixers have taken a commanding lead in this series in large part of the play from their big three. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris are looked at to lead the charge for this team, and they have done so in dominant fashion to kick off this postseason run.
Embiid and Harris carried most of the scoring load in round one, but all three left their mark in game two. The trio combined for 63 points, with Simmons and Embiid each scoring 22 points. They did a great job attacking mismatches and knowing when to be aggressive.
When all three of the Sixers stars are scoring like this, they are a tough team to keep up with. While it hasn't been talked about enough throughout this season, the Sixers have a legitimate big three. Their performance in game two was a testament to that.
Role players providing a spark
While the big three stood out in game two's win, the bench also deserves credit. Doc Rivers said he went to every player before the postseason and talked about how valuable their role was to the team, and it was apparent in game two.
From the first guy off the bench to the last, each player came in and did a great job staying within their game. Matisse Thybulle, George Hill, and Dwight Howard all gave solid minutes in Wednesday's win.
Thybulle continued his defensive havoc on the Wizards, picking up four steals and five blocks in just 20 minutes of action. Hill stabilized the second unit and provided another element to the starters when running with them in spurts. Howard held down the center position with Embiid off the floor, grabbing 11 rebounds and providing a physical last line of defense.
This Sixers team is arguably the deepest of all their previous postseason runs. More importantly, guys have bought into their roles. They understand what they need to do to help the time win and enjoy doing it.
Ben Simmons responding to his critics
After Sunday's win, Ben Simmons was a major topic of conversation. After finishing with 15 rebounds and assists, all the focus was on him only scoring six points.
Simmons must have heard the critics in the two days between games. He came out in game two and reminded everyone why he is a multi-time All-Star and All-NBA player.
Due to not playing in the fourth quarter, he fell just shy of a triple-double for the second straight game. In 28 minutes of action, Simmons racked up 22 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and one block.
The Simmons we saw on Wednesday night looked similar to the Simmons we saw in the weeks leading up to the All-Star break. He looked to get himself going as a scorer early and continued his elite-level playmaking and defense.
After doing it all for the Sixers in game two, Simmons is sure to get the critics off his back for the next few days.