Things to Watch: Sixers versus Hornets Part Two
The Sixers and Hornets will face off again on Monday night after their matchup on Saturday. As we know, the Sixers would have a wire to wire victory in their first encounter. Here are three things to watch as the two teams set to face off again.
One thing that stood out in Saturday’s game was the passing from the 76ers. Their ball movement was the best it has looked all season, racking up 35 assists on 47 made field goals.
The way they moved the ball on Saturday was Spurs-Esq. Ben Simmons led the charge in sharing the ball, dishing 11 assists en route to recording his first triple-double of the season.
Doc Rivers has spoken recently that he feels this team can still take another step offensively, and they showed a glimpse of it on Saturday. If the Sixers can continue to move the ball in this fashion it will make their offense even more dangerous.
After a cold spell from deep to start the season, the Sixers have started to heat up from deep. Since their game against the Magic on Thursday, they have been much more effective shooting the deep ball.
Seven different Sixers hit a three in the matchup on Saturday, and the team would go on to shoot 46% as a whole.
Improving the spacing around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons was a key issue addressed this offseason, and it’s already paying dividends. Even during the dry spell from deep, the duo had great space around the basket to attack. Now that the team is hitting shots on the perimeter, it has given them more room to work with.
One player, in particular, taking advantage of this added spacing is Joel Embiid. With perimeter players hitting shots, it limits the defense's ability to throw more bodies at Embiid when he’s in the post. Now teams have to pick their poison of slowing down Embiid or not allowing shooters clean looks.
Tobias Harris doing it all
Many people expected Tobias Harris to take a step forward this year being reunited with Doc Rivers, and he has done just that. After a somewhat slow start to this season, Harris has been some of his best basketball in a Sixers’ uniform as of late.
He has been playing with a lot of confidence and getting back to being a quick decision-maker on the floor. Every game he looks more and more like the player he was under Rivers as a member of the Clippers.
Over his last three games, Harris is averaging 23.3 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 4.0 APG. On top of that, he is shooting the ball efficiently as well, shooting over 50% from the field and from deep.
If Harris can continue to maintain even close to this level of play, he can be a legitimate third option for this team moving forward.