In a week that featured four games, it was the one win that takes precedent. Rarely does a win supersede multiple losses, but with the infrequency of wins such a celebration is necessary. Considering limited minutes and where will Nerlens Noel end up are often the headlines when discussing the 76ers it is good to have a win be the lead topic.
The win against Indiana and its top performer should be celebrated accordingly.
Joel Embiid struggled from the floor going 6 for 18, but in that strife still found success. The center put pressure on the Indiana Pacers to the tune of 14 free throw attempts, making 12. In a game that would eventually be won in overtime the Sixers would need every point from their young gunner.
Embiid was not afraid of the moment, taking 11 shots in the fourth quarter and overtime combined (making four). However, the foul line was where he shined going a sizzling 7 for 8 from the stripe in the fourth and overtime. This precision included two “and-1’s”.
It is evident the big man still has many miles left on his journey to greatness, but continues to standout in a crowded frontcourt with his natural ability.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
No More than 24
Jahlil Okafor appears to have found his scoring touch. With monitored minutes being the focal point for both Embiid and Okafor, it is easy to lose sight of the development of each player. Add the hype and sensationalism surrounding Embiid and the 2015 third overall pick is virtually an afterthought.
Yet, Jah’s recent offensive play deserves plenty of thought.
16 points per on 55 percent shooting is impressive, but at an average of no more than 24 minutes a night is equally impressive. Okafor looks to finally have that scoring feeling back, which is a welcomed sight.
As the season continues, it will interesting to watch Okafor succeed despite numerous obstacles.
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
The First Loss
The week featured the season’s highest points total (145), and the season’s first loss.
Philadelphia began the week dismantling Orlando Woolridge, Reggie Theus and Chicago Bulls in front of 13,000 plus. The 76ers would make 62 field goals, have nine players score in double figures, and attempt only two three-point shots en route to dropping 145 points.
That winning feeling would not last long as just two nights later the Indiana Pacers would arrive in town and accomplish what very few teams could. The Pacers were a sub .500 team (2 – 4) when they hit the Spectrum floor, conversely their opponent sat undefeated (6 – 0) and had just come off their most dominate performance to date.
Indiana would take a 59 – 53 halftime lead, however Philly seemed to be running on all cylinders and would enter the fourth quarter ahead 83 – 79. The Sixers would watch as future Atlanta Hawks General Manager Billy Knight went off, to the tune of 14 points in the fourth quarter alone. Knight would finish the night with 30 points in all. Philadelphia would be outscored 38 – 25 in the fourth and lose the game 117 – 108.
The 76ers bounced back the next night against the New Jersey Nets 110 – 100, thanks to doubles-doubles from Moses Malone (27 points & 10 rebounds) and Maurice Cheeks (11 points & 11 assists).
TWEET OF THE WEEK: