76ers

The 9 most electric moments from Sixers' huge Game 3 win starring the Embiid windmill

The 9 most electric moments from Sixers' huge Game 3 win starring the Embiid windmill

How fun was it to sit in the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night as the Sixers put it all together for a runaway 116-95 victory over the Toronto Raptors?

Joel Embiid threw down a gigantic windmill dunk, flew the airplane, and finished it with an Allen Iverson-esque hand-to-the-ear LET ME HEAR YOU gesture to the crowd.

That’s how fun Game 3 was in Philadelphia.

While the series is far from over — plenty of work to be done and all that — last night’s victory was a unusually fun one, so it’s worth revisiting some of its most memorable moments one more time.

9. Squad deep in Philly

The Brotherly Love was real from the start with the Phillies, Flyers, and Eagles repped by Rhys Hoskins, JVR, and Carson Wentz. Then you had the crew sitting courtside with A.I., Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Zach Ertz, Meek Mill, and Michael Rubin. That’s a squad.

8. Pascal Siakam kickin’ it and Jo not even giving him the time of day

You can’t get in the big man’s head. He’s in yours.

7. Jimmy telling Jo to shoot

6. The finger move

5. All of Joel’s blocks

Nothing brings the noise level up in the Center like a good Embiid rejection. He had five of them in Game 3.

4. Ben Simmons to Jimmy alley-oop

This had the building rocking early.

3. Joel leaves it hanging and then a little shimmy (tie)

The big man was feeling it from distance. And his celebrations were world class. First, he left it hanging in Gasol’s face for the most amazing of photos. Then, later in the game, he pulled out the big man shimmy!

2. Jimmy Butler’s dunk and A.I.’s reaction

What a performance from Jimmy all game long. But Allen is like the walking embodiment of the heart and soul of Philadelphia. Watching him react so happily with DeSean Jackson is everything.

1. The Embiid windmill

As Mike Scott put it: “This dude nice, bruh. One-dribble windmill, that’s tough in a game, that’s tough to do, man. He’s special. He’s one of one.”

This dunk happened. You’ll never forget it.

Legend.

https://twitter.com/NBCSPhilly/status/1124140084473868288

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Sixers Talk podcast: Matisse Thybulle might already be the sixth man

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NBC Sports Philadelphia/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers Talk podcast: Matisse Thybulle might already be the sixth man

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick discuss the amount of games they expect Joel Embiid to play, Ben Simmons' self-awareness and Matisse Thybulle already surpassing expectations.

• Will Embiid set a career high in games played with his new load management plan? The guys make a friendly wager.

• Simmons gave arguably the most thoughtful quote he's ever given.

• Is Thybulle already the Sixers' sixth best player?

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Sixers pick up Zhaire Smith's third-year option, make clear call to bank on his further development

Sixers pick up Zhaire Smith's third-year option, make clear call to bank on his further development

Zhaire Smith's role with the Sixers isn't yet clear for this season, but the 20-year-old guard has a future with the team.

General manager Elton Brand confirmed that Wednesday. The team announced it has exercised Smith's third-year option for the 2020-21 season, worth $3.2 million

The Sixers acquired Smith and the Miami Heat's 2021 first-round pick last year in a draft-night trade with the Phoenix Suns, who received Mikal Bridges. Smith played in six regular-season games his rookie year, averaging 6.7 points and and 2.2 rebounds per game, but that's far from the whole story. Smith broke his foot in August, then suffered a severe allergic reaction and subsequent complications that led to him losing over 35 pounds. Over time, Smith regained his standout athleticism and rebuilt his jump shot after changing his form to compensate for his loss of strength (see story).

Head coach Brett Brown described Smith during training camp as a "pogo stick" and has praised his talent for on-ball defense, comparing him on multiple occasions to Avery Bradley. However, Smith has not been part of the Sixers' rotation during the preseason. Brown has acknowledged that development is a great priority for the Sixers with Smith than immediate contribution, especially after everything he went through as a rookie. The emergence of rookie Matisse Thybulle and solid play of Shake Milton during the preseason are further reasons why Smith hasn't been playing with the Sixers' regulars. Smith played the entire fourth quarter Tuesday night of the Sixers' 106-86 win over the Pistons and had seven points and three rebounds.

"It's just a process, so I'm not worried about it," he said. "As long as we get the win, it doesn't matter."

Given the potential the Sixers saw in Smith — and continue to see — it never seemed plausible that they would decline his third-year option.

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