76ers

Sixers 122, Nets 100: Emphatically advancing to second round of NBA playoffs with Game 5 rout

Sixers 122, Nets 100: Emphatically advancing to second round of NBA playoffs with Game 5 rout

BOX SCORE

Wow.

To say the Sixers suffocated Brooklyn Tuesday night would imply the Nets ever had the ability to breathe.

With a chance to end their first-round series, the Sixers scored the first 14 points of the game and never let up in a 122-100 win over Brooklyn at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 5.

It was a truly dominating effort, as the Sixers held the Nets to 38.7 percent shooting. The Sixers, who won four straight after dropping Game 1, had 35 assists on 51 made field goals.

They’ll move on to the second round to take on the Toronto Raptors, who closed out their series against the Orlando Magic in a similar fashion Tuesday.

Here are observations from the series clincher:

• Coming into Tuesday night’s game, the Sixers’ starting five had the best offensive, defensive and net rating among any five-man lineup that’s played at least 30 minutes together this postseason. Those numbers only went up.

It started the game on a 14-0 run, completely smothering the Nets. Brooklyn missed its first nine shots and turned the ball over five times in the first quarter. In the first half, the Sixers’ starters outscored the Nets, 31-2.

Brooklyn scored 15 points in first quarter and just 16 in the second. The 31 points is tied for the fewest the Sixers have ever given up in a half in the playoffs. The 29-point lead was the biggest halftime advantage in team history. The team got a standing ovation heading to the locker room.

While the Sixers were definitely swarming in this one, it looked like their thrilling comeback win Saturday took Brooklyn’s hearts.

• There’s been concern over the fit between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid since the Sixers drafted Simmons. In their second postseason run together, it appears they’re starting to figure it out.

Embiid dominated in the post while Simmons took his opportunities in transition. The most encouraging thing to see is how Embiid is finding Simmons out of double teams. So often it’s Simmons’ man that will come to help on Embiid. Simmons is finding the open spaces and Embiid is finding Simmons out of the double.

There were even times when Embiid cut off Simmons and got easy looks.

Embiid continued his strong play from Game 4, putting up 23 points and 13 rebounds in 20 minutes. He’s looked physically better in each game he’s played and was the most dominant player on the floor for the majority of the series.

He was given a technical in the first quarter for pointing at Rondae Hollis-Jefferson after this thunderous baseline dunk.

Simmons’ rough Game 1 seems like an awfully long time ago. The All-Star point guard finished with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds in just 27 minutes.

• If you were wondering what it would look like if all five of the Sixers' starters were on offensively in the same game, you got a glimpse Tuesday.

On top of strong performances by Embiid and Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and JJ Redick were all good. The entire unit went 28 of 53 (53 percent). Butler was the only player that shot below 50 percent, but he was on another level in this one, especially on the defensive end with three steals and a block.

• D’Angelo Russell is going to see Simmons in his nightmares this summer. Russell was an All-Star this season and had given the Sixers plenty of trouble. Not so much in this series.

Russell was shooting below 40 percent for the series coming in and went just 3 of 16 in Game 5. There was plenty of fear over the dangerous guard duo of Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie, but neither player ever truly went off. Much of the credit has to go to Simmons who was active and engaged throughout the series.

• Reserve forward Mike Scott pulled up limping late in the second quarter, forcing Brett Brown to use a timeout. Scott left the game and did not return with a right heel contusion.

• We did get a little excitement to end the game as rookie Jonah Bolden and Rodions Kurucs got tangled up with less than two minutes left. Bolden blocked Kurucs’ shot and while the two were tangled up, Kurucs took a little shot at Bolden. Bolden charged at Kurucs while the official was trying to break up the scrap. Players for both teams gathered at half court.

Bolden, Kurucs, Greg Monroe and Dzanan Musa were all ejected for their parts in the incident.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

2020 NBA schedule: Sixers set to play 3 scrimmages before season resumes

2020 NBA schedule: Sixers set to play 3 scrimmages before season resumes

The NBA on Saturday released its scrimmage schedule for the 22 teams participating in the league’s restart in Orlando. 

The Sixers are set to play three scrimmages:

July 24, 3:30 p.m. — Grizzlies
July 26, 12 p.m. — Thunder
July 28, 8:30 p.m. — Mavericks

The scrimmages are intended to serve as a final ramp-up into the resumption of the season. The Sixers, who began holding mandatory individual workouts at their practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, starting on Wednesday, are scheduled to arrive at Disney World next Thursday.

Brett Brown said Wednesday he’d like his team to be at a “B” fitness base that he can help improve to an “A” by the time seeding games start. It’s been challenging for many players to stay in shape because of restrictions related to the coronavirus. Matisse Thybulle, for one, said Thursday he doesn’t like running but it was his “only choice.”

"It’s obviously not basketball-type conditioning,” Thybulle said, “but it kept me at a cardio fitness level to where now that we’ve come back and started, and I’ve started doing my basketball workouts, I have a really solid baseline to build off.”

The hiatus has allowed Ben Simmons to recover from the back injury that sidelined him for the Sixers’ last eight games, and Simmons noted he's added muscle and feels more explosive.

Al Horford also said, “I probably wasn’t where I wanted to be this season” in terms of health, and that the time off has been helpful for him. 

Below is the Sixers’ schedule for the final eight games:

Aug. 1, 7 p.m.: Indiana
Aug. 3, 8 p.m: San Antonio
Aug. 5, 4 p.m.: Washington
Aug. 7, 6:30 p.m.: Orlando
Aug. 9, 6:30 p.m.: Portland
Aug. 11, 4:30 p.m.: Phoenix
Aug. 12, 6:30 p.m.: Toronto 
Aug. 14: Houston 

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers

How bubbly Matisse Thybulle is taking things in stride during bizarre rookie year

How bubbly Matisse Thybulle is taking things in stride during bizarre rookie year

Matisse Thybulle was his usual bubbly self Friday. The Sixers’ rookie literally hopped — like he actually jumped into his seat — on a video conference call with reporters. He signed off by calling all of us nerds.

The 2019 first-round pick was having a standout first season before play was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Though his playing time had fluctuated, head coach Brett Brown said earlier in the season that he was grooming the young wing for the playoffs.

Still, Thybulle won’t take anything for granted as the team prepares to leave for the Disney World “bubble” next week.

“For me, every time I get out on the court, it’s a challenge to maintain, to keep my spot on the team,” Thybulle said. “And then with keeping the spot, you can never be stagnant.”

On opening night, Thybulle was asked to defend All-Star guard Kemba Walker. Walker had given the Sixers problems in the past and the rookie didn’t get off to a great start, committing two quick fouls. As the game went on, Thybulle settled in and showed the defensive prowess the Sixers drafted him for.

All season long, Thybulle has done well to take things as they come during a bizarre rookie year. He’s planning to take that same mentality to Florida.

Nobody really knows what’s going to happen," Thybulle said, "nobody really knows what to expect, or how things are going to go, or what anybody or any team looks like. Instead of setting expectations for myself or what I think the experience is going to be like, it’s been just trying to take each new step of this process as a new challenge, and then figuring out, when I get there, how I’m going to get through it.

"If you want to look at all the unknowns, you’ll just go crazy. Taking what I know and what I can control and trying to make the best out of that.

What we know about Thybulle is he has a propensity for disruption on the defensive end. He leads all rookies in steals — by a healthy margin — and is fifth in blocks. He’s one of only eight players in the NBA to have at least 80 steals and 40 blocks.

In order to get so many deflections and wreak havoc defensively, you need to be in top shape. If you’ve seen Thybulle’s Tik Tok adventures from early in the quarantine, you know that he lives in a small apartment and didn’t have the opportunity to keep up with basketball activities.

So, he turned to the only form of exercise he thought could help — even if he didn’t enjoy it.

“I don’t like running. I really don’t like it,” Thyulle said. “But through the quarantine, it was like my only choice. ... It’s obviously not basketball-type conditioning, but it kept me at a cardio fitness level to where now that we’ve come back and started, and I’ve started doing my basketball workouts, I have a really solid baseline to build off. In a matter of two weeks, I feel like I’ve gotten back into really good shape and I think it’s going to be easier to build on after this.”

Thybulle has been given a bunch of tough assignments this season. While he’s looked like a rookie at times, when he’s kept his fouls down and his three-point percentage up, you see a player that should be able to help come the postseason.

And in a year where nobody knows what the NBA playoffs will be like, it could be to the rookie’s advantage during his first postseason run.

“I think what I’ve heard about the playoffs is a little different than what the playoffs are going to look like this year,” Thybulle said. “Obviously, I’ve heard amazing things. Especially playing in Philly, I’ve heard so many great things about having our fans behind us.

"We’re finding ourselves in a situation where that’s not going to be the case, so I think it’s going to be new for everyone, even vets who have been part of the playoffs, trying to get a feel for what this is going to be like. But I’m open to the challenge and I’m excited for what’s in store.”

Subscribe and rate Sixers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Sixers