The Devon Givens Show

6:00pm - 10:00pm

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 02: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots during the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Wells Fargo Center on January 02, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

For just the seventh time this season, the Sixers had their much-talked-about projected starting five all on the floor together. And they collected their third win with the group on Tuesday night. 2-4 through the six games before the victory over the Pistons, 147-116 . It was never a contest.

Here’s what stood out in the win over the Pistons:

  • Joel Embiid returned after missing three games because of left foot soreness. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that he was off by his performance. The big fella finished with a game-high 36 points, snatched 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. He was perfect from the line, hitting all 11 of his free throw attempts. 
  • The James Harden triple-double strategy. Harden is so good at setting up how he wants to attack the game in terms of his statistics while still impacting the game. It seems that he wants to take care of the difficult part first of collecting his rebounds and assists. Allowing him catch up in the points category as the game goes along. He’s a seasoned vet who has seen every defense and knows how these games go. The future HOF’er had 11 points, eight boards and nine dimes at the half. He finished the night with 16, 12 rebounds and 15 assists. His 72nd career triple-double, 3rd of the campaign and back-to-back triple-doubles for the point guard.
  • It has been well-documented of how well Montrezl Harrell has played as of late. But one play in the first half needs to be highlighted. Towards the end of the first quarter, Harrell had the ball while being defended by Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo on the low block. Harrell (6’7, 240) made a running hook over Diallo (6’5, 202) to give the Sixers an eight-point lead. But he probably should’ve just gone right at him for an easier bucket in close. Nitpicking, I know. But if we point this out often with Embiid against smaller defenders, the same should apply to the backup 5 as well.
  • There were a lot of questions of what head coach Doc Rivers would do with his starting lineup once everyone was back and healthy. The main point of conversation was what would the coach do with do-it-all-guard De’Anthony Melton. We have our answer. Melton went back to the bench with Tyrese Maxey remaining in the starting lineup. That’s no knock on Melton’s play. More of simply keeping his rotations intact for what is best for his team going forward. This was the right decision.
  • Forward Tobias Harris played 27 minutes and was perfect from the floor. 6 for 6 FG, 2-2 3FG. Collecting six rebounds and three assists.
  • Sleeveless PJ Tucker has looked pretty good as of late. 

Philadelphia is 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. They will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.