Ahead of Sunday’s game, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said his group required to obtain a win without star centre Joel Embiid — something Philadelphia didn’t perform the initial four occasions Embiid had missed a match this year.
It was that the Sixers was able to break that series — but just after a frenzied fourth-quarter comeback which saw Philadelphia outscore the Indiana Pacers 31-6 within the last eight minutes, permitting the Sixers to divert a 16-point shortage and emerge with a 119-110 success.
“I think for a whole lot of reasons that is a huge win,” explained Matisse Thybulle, whose shield, for example four steals and 2 blocks, played a crucial role in turning the match in Philadelphia’s favor. “To be down and return, to triumph on the street, to triumph without Joel, I feel lots of the motives come together to create this a huge win.
“I believe most of us feel pretty great having won it since most of us know how awful a sense we would have had if we dropped ”
The narrative surrounding the Sixers has become the group’s struggles this year when Embiid — that had been out Sunday because of back tightness — does not perform.
That directed Rivers to state not only did his staff should win with no Embiid, it had to perform nicely without him for the very first time this year. And, for a lot of the match, that seemed like it would not occur, as the Pacers led by double digits for much of the evening and normally controlled drama.
The Sixers played with a zone which flummoxed that the Pacers offensively. Tobias Harris, that headed Philly with 27 points — including 10 in the fourth quarter,” said the group had worked on that zone seem for only five minutes annually.
“Only winning mindset,” Harris said of the mentality at the fourth quarter. “I understood I had been out there, and I had been out there now to receive buckets to help our team win. We began calling a few places for me to get about the cube to go to work, and that I was using this moment and chance.
“As we could cut down it, it opened up the ground for some other men too, and you understand Furk managed to earn some big shots and a few huge plays.”
In terms of the zone, Rivers joked after the match the group was speaking to this zone defense because the matchup zone famously employed by legendary coach John Chaney, a nod into the Hall of Fame trainer who constructed a dominant program in Philadelphia’s Temple University and expired last week.
“It was fantastic, such as men bought into zone and it is indeed intriguing, particularly in the NBA, due to the brief shot clock. When you receive a few stops, it starts becoming more psychological to another group.
I believed they had such excellent rhythm against us to get all those [first] three quarters. Running it toward the ending, it was great.”
More than anything, however, that the Sixers felt great about winning a match with no Embiid, the group’s talisman and arguably the league’s MVP during the first quarter of this year, who’s averaging 28.3 points and 11.1 rebounds at the 16 games he’s playedwith.
Embiid missed Sunday’s match with lingering back stiffness in the challenging autumn he took in Wednesday’s win over the Lakers.
The team’s issues without Embiid have dogged the Sixers all season and abandoned Rivers admitting following the match it had been the”most gratifying” triumph his group, which sits atop the Eastern Conference, has had up to now.
“As an example,” Rivers said,”but I believe we have had a few of these so far. … I hope we are discussing gratifying wins annually. I mean, that is the program.
“There is a whole lot more to perform.”