There’s never a dull moment with the Sixers.
After barely escaping Madison Square Garden with a win, they crushed the Timberwolves and took care of the Pacers before suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Thunder.
The Sixers are now two games into their 12-game gauntlet and are 1-1.
Here’s this week’s stock watch:
It was yet another impressive week for the All-Star center, who looks like a shoo-in to be back in this year’s game. In four games last week, Embiid averaged 27.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 blocks.
While Embiid continues to dominate in the post and patrol the paint at an elite level, his three-point shooting has really improved. He’s shooting 39 percent from three over his last 11 games. Defenders go for his pump fake when he’s missing. Imagine what happens if he keeps making them.
All of this while dealing with a tight back that’s forced him to be a game-time decision for two straight games. It’s going to be tough to get the big man a break over this stretch.
MVP favorite James Harden is in the building Monday for a nationally televised game. Then the Sixers play the Spurs, a team that waxed them just a month ago. That’s followed by a matchup against Nikola Jokic, one Embiid will not want to miss.
Another mention for the rookie in this space because of a new dimension he’s shown: being able to play minutes as a backup five. It’s a role that doesn’t need to be huge given how many minutes Embiid plays, but Bolden's been impactful for the Sixers over the past week.
The move has allowed Mike Muscala to play more four and Wilson Chandler to play more three. It also just gives the Sixers a different dynamic off the bench. Bolden is extremely athletic — something the bench sorely needed — and plays with a ton of energy. Bolden has been a huge part of the team’s recent success.
The bench guards
T.J. McConnell and Landry Shamet have helped the team this season. McConnell has given the Sixers a big spark at times and is an unquestioned leader. Shamet, who nobody even considered for a rotation spot when he was drafted 26th overall, is shooting threes at an elite level (40 percent).
Neither player is giving the team what it needs defensively. It was evident during the loss to Oklahoma City that neither McConnell nor Shamet had the athleticism or size to compete with the Thunder’s guards.
Both players have had their moments this season, but don’t be surprised to see Elton Brand upgrade at both spots.
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