The Philadelphia 76ers entered Monday night’s matchup with the Golden State Warriors shorthanded as they were missing their best perimeter defender in Ben Simmons as well as their go-to scorer in Tobias Harris. Not having either guy in the lineup hurt against the explosive Warriors.
Without Simmons to defend Stephen Curry out on the perimeter, the Golden State leader continued his hot streak. The chef dropped 49 points and he knocked down 10 triples to lead the Warriors past the Sixers 107-96.
It was enough to overcome another big night by Joel Embiid who led Philadelphia with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, Seth Curry added 15 points and five assists, Furkan Korkmaz had 10 in a start, Danny Green had 12 and seven rebounds, Matisse Thybulle added 13 and seven rebounds, and Tyrese Maxey had 10. George Hill made his debut and had two points, two rebounds, and two assists.
Here are the three observations from the loss:
Curry vs. Curry
With Simmons out for this game, the Sixers had to get creative when defending Steph. Coach Doc Rivers turned to his brother, Seth, and he started off pretty well. Seth did a solid job of anticipating Steph’s every move as all of those games in the driveway seemed to pay off a bit. Seth also stripped his MVP brother and had a layup early. Afterward, Steph then got into a groove, against Thybulle surprisingly, and he knocked down his usual assortment of jaw-dropping 3-pointers for Golden State’s offense. Seth showed off his ability to knock down tough shots over defenders in this one and that is a good sign for the Sixers when it comes to their offense. They need him to be able to pull the trigger on those shots more than anybody else due to the cannon he possesses. As for Steph, the man is just unstoppable. What more can be done?
Not only did Seth have to defend his brother, but he also had to provide a lot of offense without Simmons. He had to be able to knock down open looks while also running the offense and running pick-and-roll with Embiid. For the most part, Seth did a solid job. He was making the correct reads and he had the team playing well on that end of the floor. There was one instance where Korkmaz was able to get an open look due to Seth attacking downhill and drawing some attention for himself. That is what Simmons does on a nightly basis. Seth not shying away from shooting over defenders was a big help in this one as well. Games like this will serve Philadelphia well in the playoffs. When things get tight, it is always good to have multiple players who can put the ball on the floor and continue to make plays for the team. Seth has continued to show that skill off for this team and combined with his shooting, he is going to be a valuable piece going forward.
Hill made his long-awaited debut in the first quarter and he did not light up the scoreboard or anything, but one can see his impact when he is out on the floor. He has the size and vision to be able to make skip passes across the floor to open shooters and he is a guy who will stabilize the bench unit over time as he gets more comfortable. He also did as good a job as anybody defending Steph in the third quarter. His basketball IQ is going to be valuable to this team in the long run. He also looked comfortable out there as he was not rushing or anything. He looked in control and he looked like the cool and calm veteran who will help this team in the playoffs. He will need some time to get acclimated with the team, but Hill’s value to this team can be seen right away.