While the NBA season is suspended, we take a look back at the most surprising moments of the Sixers’ season. In this edition, Sixers Pre and Postgame Live host Amy Fadool and Sixers reporter Paul Hudrick pick their moments.

Fadool: Simmons will always remember his first

Where would a compilation of surprising Sixers moments from this season be if not for the shot heard 'round the basketball — and social media — world?  

While the actual shot heard ‘round the world refers to the start of the American Revolution in 1775, many hoped Ben Simmons' first three-pointer would lead to a revolution of his shot-taking ability. Spoiler alert: It didn't. However, let's not diminish the excitement from that night. We were a little over a week away from Thanksgiving and the Sixers were facing the Knicks in their 14th game of the season.  

It was a close game until the fourth quarter when the Sixers really turned it on, but at the end of the day, none of that really mattered. This wasn't the Sixers-Knicks game nor was it just the Sixers' ninth win of the season. No, it was the “Ben Simmons three-pointer game.” Through his previous 11 games of this season, he hadn't even attempted a three-pointer. He hadn't really attempted a spot-up three in his career. Sure, there were the long range, prayer type of shots at the end of the half or as the shot clock was winding down, but those weren't serious shots.

It was a much different story on the evening of Wednesday, November 20, 2019.  Simmons calmly buried a catch-and-shoot three-point jumper from just behind the right corner line — and it came less than four minutes into the game. If you were there, you know how crazy the fans reacted. If you were watching like so many, you heard Marc Zumoff exclaim: "Yes! He did it! Ben Simmons!"

 

Nothing else mattered in that moment.  Of course, Simmons himself seemed nonplussed even after his teammates cheered and hollered from the court to the bench.  Yes, Simmons has shot and made another three since, but you always remember your first.

Hudrick: Are you Furkan kidding me?

It almost feels hard to believe or like it happened five years ago, but the Sixers started the season 4-0 with a golden opportunity to beat a banged-up Portland team to make it 5-0.

Early on that night, the Sixers didn’t take advantage of a starting lineup that featured Mario Hezonja and Anthony Tolliver. Through three quarters, the Blazers shot the lights out. They hit 57.8 percent from the floor and a scorching 14 of 27 from deep. 

A strong third quarter offensively allowed the Sixers to shrink Portland’s lead from as much as 21 to 10. Thanks to the efforts of Al Horford — yes, that Al Horford — Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson, the team made inroads and was in the thick of it deep into the fourth.

With 10.1 seconds left, Ben Simmons knocked down two huge free throws to give the Sixers their first lead. It felt like a huge comeback had been capped off and the Sixers’ record would remain unblemished.

Then when Anfernee Simons hit a corner three with 2.6 seconds left, it felt like it was over.

But all Simons’ shot did was set up an improbable hero and perhaps the most improbable story for the Sixers this season.

With Horford, Harris and Richardson on the floor, Brett Brown drew up a play for Furkan Korkmaz to get a corner three. It’s the kind of coaching move that looks brilliant if it works ... and not so much if it doesn’t. 

On this night, Korkmaz made Brown look like a genius.

Watching the game, it was one of those, “Nooooo! … Yessssss!” type moments. It propelled Korkmaz, who was nearly back in his native Turkey playing professionally, to become a rotational piece for Brown. It’s also been a great story for a team that hasn’t had many this season.

And it gave us gold both in memes and Furkan puns — which, yes, is a pun.

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