76ers

Everything fell into place for Mike Scott when he got traded to Sixers

Everything fell into place for Mike Scott when he got traded to Sixers

You don't have to be a star to be a fan favorite. It's something Mike Scott has learned from Sixers fans.

Scott had always been “the go-to guy” for all his teams growing up. When he was in grade school, high school, even at Virginia where he led the team in scoring his last two seasons.

Then he got to the NBA and that all changed. He didn’t get off the bench much his first two seasons in Atlanta. He was then part of a Hawks team that won 60 games under head coach Mike Budenholzer and featured veterans like Al Horford and Elton Brand.

After up-and-down stops in Washington and L.A., Scott new things had to change ... eventually.

Coaches always told me my role would be, if I wanted to earn more playing time, to dive for loose balls — kind of like (the Rockets’) P.J. Tucker, sort of do the dirty [work] that people don't want to do,” Scott said at a roundtable at the Sixers practice facility. “I always thought it was going to be scoring — I just like to score. Finally it clicked — it only took seven years for me to actually figure it out. Doing the dirty work, not trying to score 20 every night. Maybe I'll have six points, five rebounds, four assists. Do the dirty work, do every little thing and just play with energy.

Fast forward to his time with the Sixers and it seems like a perfect fit. Scott figured out his role and the way to star in it after being traded to Philly — and also won over the hearts of the fans with the Mike Scott Hive. With franchise players like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons already in place, the Sixers needed to surround them with role players like Scott.

Scott admitted that he was "hype" when he learned he'd been traded here, but it wasn’t a sure thing that Scott was coming back this offseason. The seven-year veteran said he had offers from three or four other teams, but that Philadelphia was always his first choice if the sides could make it work. The Sixers retooled their roster yet again, adding Horford and Josh Richardson to a starting lineup that featured All-Stars Embiid and Simmons and borderline All-Star Tobias Harris.

Scott brought up Tucker during his media availability and it’s a solid comparison of roles. Tucker does all the “dirty work” and hunts threes while the star players on his teams do their thing. 

“P.J. Tucker always comes to my mind, how he's always all over the place, doing the little things and not trying to force a lot,” Scott said. “He knows who the scorers are on his team. Same thing — I know who are our go-to guys are. Of course I'm going to play my game, but I'm not going to f— that up."

Scott didn’t arrive to this conclusion on his own. He learned from veterans like Horford, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver during his time in Atlanta. Doc Rivers and Clippers assistant Rex Kalamanian told him before last season started that he needed to find ways to affect the game when his jumper isn’t falling. He took all of that to heart and is thriving in Philadelphia — with his teammates and the fan base.

The occasional big shot may happen — like the one he hit in Game 4 at Brooklyn — but Scott knows that’s not why he’s here.

Sometimes you just get caught up in trying to score,” Scott said. “I've always been a scorer — Virginia, high school, I was always the go-to guy. Coming into the league, I wasn't. I still just wanted to score. Maybe a coach told me this at one point but I don't remember, but it just always stuck in my mind from when I had a meeting with Doc, saying, 'Do something else.' That just stuck out. I'm pretty sure a coach probably did tell me [something like that] and I was probably just like, 'F— you. I wanna f—ing shoot.'

Luckily for the Sixers, it appears it all came together for Scott at the best possible time.

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Matisse Thybulle is a much better defender in real life than in NBA2K

twitch_matisse_thybulle_mikal_bridges.jpg

Matisse Thybulle is a much better defender in real life than in NBA2K

Matisse Thybulle is known for his defense in real life. In NBA2K, that is definitely not the case.

With the NBA season suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak, Thybulle and the Suns’ Mikal Bridges played each other in 2K on Friday night and streamed the action on Twitch.

Though Thybulle gave Bridges a little bit of a scare with a big third quarter, the virtual Suns beat the virtual Sixers, 75-64. 

While the intensity obviously didn’t compare to a typical game night at Wells Fargo Center, both Thybulle and Bridges — a Villanova product and a Sixer for about 20 minutes before a draft-night trade two years ago — were very into it.

Thyulle decided to sub himself into the game after just 28 seconds, and Bridges did the same 30 seconds later. 

“Which one’s shoot again?,” he asked. “Square?” 

As his team fell behind, Thybulle had some stern words for his players.

“Al, you’re better than that,” he said when Al Horford bit on a pump fake. “You’ve been in the league too long to be making those mistakes.” 

When Ben Simmons had a floater blocked, Thybulle wasn’t thrilled. 

“Ben, you’re 7-foot,” he said. “Just dunk it.” 

And a Mike Scott lay-up early in the third wasn’t what Thybulle was hoping to see. 

At one point, he tried begging for mercy from Bridges.

“Stop running pick-and-roll, I don’t know how to guard it,” he said. “Please. Come on, man.” 

Unfortunately for Thybulle, Bridges did not stop and the rookie left with a loss, albeit an entertaining one.

“I apologize to the Sixers, to my family, my friends, the people of Philadelphia,” he said. “This is not acceptable.” 

After personally finishing with no points on 0 for 3 shooting, Thybulle promised he'll be practicing.



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Josh Richardson bests Devin Booker in Sixers' NBA2K simulation win over Suns

Josh Richardson bests Devin Booker in Sixers' NBA2K simulation win over Suns

Even in a video game, the Sixers’ dominance at home continues.

Thanks to some stifling fourth-quarter defense, the Sixers took down the Suns, 76-62, in a simulation on NBA2K Friday.

Led by Josh Richardson and Al Horford, the Sixers went on a 13-4 run in the final period to seal the victory.

Here are observations from the virtual win:

J-Rich outduels Booker

Richardson was given the defensive assignment of trying to contain the high-scoring Devin Booker. Booker, who hung 40 on the Sixers in a real-life game in Phoenix back in November, got off to a hot start.

But so did Richardson.

The difference was the fourth quarter where Booker appeared to be laboring … at least that’s what the little Gatorade cup that popped up next to him would indicate.

It was Richardson’s strip on a Booker drive and lay in on the other end that sparked the Sixers’ fourth quarter run and helped put the game out of reach.

While Booker posted a game-high 27, he wasn’t very efficient, going 10 of 24 from the field. Richardson, on the other hand, had a team-high 22 points on 8 of 12 from the field and 3 of 3 from three. He also added four assists and two steals.

Embiid quiet offensively

If the Sixers deployed the offensive strategy in real life that they did in this sim, Brett Brown would have a lot of explaining to do.

The Sixers never really looked for Joel Embiid in the post until late in the game, where the All-Star center provided two big buckets. He only scored 10 points, but pulled in 15 rebounds and challenged a ton of shots at the rim.

Embiid’s speed rating must be like a 10 because he had trouble getting back on defense all night. There was also a moment where 2K color analyst Greg Anthony compared Phoenix’s DeAndre Ayton to Embiid … which certainly is a take.

Horford and Harris solid

Al Horford pounded the Suns’ bigs early, make 4 of his 5 shots from the field. He cooled off a little in the third, but buried a hook shot over former teammate Aron Baynes to extend the Sixers’ lead to seven before the period ended.

It was on the defensive end down the stretch where Horford shined in this one. He came up with a big steal and rumbled down the other end for a layup to give the Sixers’ their first double-digit lead. A couple possessions later he came up with a big block on Ayton which led to an Embiid bucket on the other end to put the Sixers up 12. Horford finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Harris scuffled early and wasn’t really aggressive and looking to score. In the second half, he started cutting to the basket and looking for shots around the rim. He ended up with 16 points on 6 of 11. He also came up with two on-ball blocks after being switched onto Booker.


Sorry, Dario

Former Sixer and fan favorite Dario Saric had a tough night dealing with his former mates. Going up against the likes of Embiid and Horford, Saric scored just two points in 17 minutes.

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