Nobody can with Embiid

The center, one of the strongest MVP candidates, destroys the Hornets with another display. The Sixers, 16-6, dominate the East with an iron fist.


The Sixers continue their business. In a parallel world, the Philadelphia franchise has decided that it is time to live on the fringes of everything and direct towards a ring attempt that they want to be such, and not just the simulation of a project that could be something. The determining factors in the form of futuribles have not given anything to the Process in recent times, and the top has been a semi-final from the East that they have reached up to two times, even though in the last of them they were closer to everything to stay another once with nothing (that shot from Kawhi). The prize is too small for a team that plays in a city that understands basketball, but does not reach the Conference finals or the Finals themselves (obviously, it goes together), since Allen Iverson did it in 2001 with Dikembe Mutombo , Larry Brown and company. Too long a wait for an absolutely historic entity through which great historical names have passed, from Wilt Chamberlain to Charles Barkley to Julius Erving and Moses Malone. And what does it count, beware, with three rings in their showcases: two with their current denomination (1967 and 1983) and a previous one, when they were the Syracuse Nationales, in 1955.

With such a history, the Sixers are in the process of regaining lost glory. They will do it without Brett Brown, that patient coach who ate The Process and has proven to serve to lose more than to win. And with Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey at the helm: the first, a good uncle and excellent coach, who has seen his reputation diluted as he chained one failure after another at the Clippers, where he has failed in his attempt to lead to the West finals to a team that has not played it in its 50 years of existence, and with two rounds (2015 and 2020) in which it has been traced 3-1. The second, one of the best managers of the modern era, a forerunner (among others) of the triple era and a mathematical genius, seeks vindication in the form of titles that he has not achieved in some Rockets that have not been able to triumph from his hand and that of, in recent times, James Harden and Mike D'Antoni. Therefore, a coach in search of redemption, a manager of his definitive triumph and two stars (Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid) come together in the Sixers who have been dragging a lot of farce and have to show that they really can win. Regardless of whether they later get it or not.

That will be the first step, no matter how much Morey has issued the ultimatum of success or failure and that only the ring is worth. Taking a clear step in the right direction, running as competitive, is the key to moving forward and showing that Simmons and Embiid are capable of winning anyone together. At the moment, they have a template for it and their level is according to the wishes of the maker and the coach: 16-6 after a victory against the Hornets, one of the coolest teams of the season, with another exhibition by Joel Embiid (34 points , 11 rebounds and 2 assists), and a choral display of a victory more worked than it seems, forged in a splendid first half on both sides of the court (42-64) and a connate of local rebellion that has finally remained in nothing, despite the efforts of Gordon Hayward (22 + 6 + 9) and LaMelo Ball (22 + 7 + 3), the best of one of the revelations of the season and a team that remains in a fight that will be fierce: the playoffs in the East. For now, as the eighth, they will have access to the play-in. But they have an infinity of fight ahead against unexpected rivals that can be diluted with the passage of time (Cavs, Knicks ...) or not. Something that can happen to them too.

In addition to Embiid, Ben Simmons had good minutes, with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists, although he lost 5 balls. Danny Green scored 16, with 4 of 7 on triples, and Tobias Harris at 26 + 6 + 4 (9 of 9 in free throws), another great game from a man who lost his smile last year but has regained it with the coach. That made him explode on the Clippers. Shake Milton contributed 13 points from the bench, while the negative part was had by Seth Curry who stayed at 0 points in more than 28 minutes of play, with 0 of 3 in triples. The Sixers also shot above 50% in field goals and 40% in triples, and in the first half, when they took their definitive advantage, they left their rivals at just over 35% and an ignominious 3 of 17 on overseas launches. It is, by the way, the fourth consecutive victory for Doc Rivers' team, which takes two and a half games to Bucks (13-8) and Nets (14-9) and consolidates in a position that it has occupied for practically all of what we have of course. Will this finally be the year of the Sixers? We will see. At the moment, it seems that they are on the right track. But, you know, the hardest part is at the end. Always at the end.

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