Pros and Cons: Sixers vs. Kings
Three Normal Things
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
Props to you if you stayed up this late to watch an 8-man Sixers team play the Sacramento Kings. You’ve gotten through enough -- let’s get to Pros and Cons.
Pro: Isaiah Joe gets back in the mix
With Tobias Harris and Seth Curry joining Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Danny Green on the shelf for tonight’s game, Doc Rivers rode a short rotation with every player he had available. This meant Isaiah Joe, fresh off COVID-19 health and safety protocols, had a chance to play extended minutes.
In the first half alone, Joe chipped in with 11 points, knocking down multiple threes and drawing a foul beyond the arc. On a night when the Sixers were desperate for offensive resources, Joe gave them a noteworthy boost off the bench. In the second half, he was more quiet offensively, but was very active on the defensive end.
After a stellar preseason in which he earned a rotation spot, Joe’s workload quickly fizzled as he failed to bring much of an impact. Injuries are never a good thing, but perhaps it is a blessing in disguise that Joe was forced into the rotation -- I remain a firm believer that he can help this team this season.
Pro: Welcome back, Matisse Thybulle
In his second game back after being stuck in health and safety protocols, Thybulle got a spot start in place of Harris and Curry. The Sixers needed him to dominate defensively, and it’s exactly what he did.
Thybulle recorded three steals in his first 20 minutes alone, en route to a fantastic performance that surprisingly featured production on not just the defensive end, but also the offensive end.
We all know about Thybulle’s limitations as an offensive player, but tonight was a rare occurrence in which he actually helped on that end. It’s no secret that Thybulle is a marvelous athlete with excellent instincts -- every once in a while, that can lend itself to successful offense, even for someone like Thybulle. Particularly in transition and as a cutter, Thybulle made an impact on offense tonight. You can’t ask for anything more from him than what you saw tonight.
Pro: Andre Drummond takes over late
That’s right, folks. Three pros and no cons tonight! When you win a game the way the Sixers did tonight, it’s earned.
With the game in the balance and time waning, the Sixers needed someone to step up in a major way. That person wasn’t Tyrese Maxey. It wasn’t Thybulle or Joe. Instead, it was Drummond, whose rebounding, defense and finishing -- especially the rebounding -- put the Sixers over the hump.
Drummond was absolutely dominant on the boards, both extending Sixers possessions and ending Kings possessions. He was huge in the team’s valiant effort to put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Drummond entered tonight struggling of late, but put together a massive performance tonight that was instrumental in giving the Sixers a win.