NBA 2K simulation

Sixers play bully ball, pummel Hornets in NBA2K simulation

Sixers play bully ball, pummel Hornets in NBA2K simulation

Talk about smash mouth offense and bully ball defense.

In what should've been the regular season finale, the Sixers pounded and smothered the Hornets in a 107-66 drubbing in an NBA2K simulation.

The Sixers held Charlotte to 36 points in the first half and just 30 in the second. The Hornets didn’t even shoot 30 percent from the field.

Here are observations from the virtual pummeling:

Simmons looks like DPOY

From early on in this one, Ben Simmons was all over the place. The All-Star got off to a little bit of a cold shooting start, but you could tell from the onset that Devonte’ Graham was in for a tough night against Simmons.

The Defensive Player of the Year candidate locked up Graham. Simmons held the second-year standout, who averaged 18.2 points a game this season, to just two made field goals. 

On the offensive end, a vicious lob from Josh Richardson seemed to get Simmons going. He finished with 12 first-half points and 15 for the game. Simmons sat the entire fourth quarter out with the team holding a 30-point advantage.

Red-hot Harris

Tobias Harris carried the offensive load early, scoring nine first-quarter points. He then came out on fire in third, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the period. Harris did most of his damage in transition, taking advantage of the Sixers’ stymying defense and getting out on the break.

Like Simmons, Harris got to take a seat in the fourth quarter as the Sixers had this one well in hand.

Embiid controls the paint

Joel Embiid didn’t have a huge night offensively, but he owned the glass and the paint in this one. He hauled in 18 rebounds and recorded three blocks. The only starter to get fourth-quarter minutes, Embiid punished Hornets big man Cody Zeller.

A bench boost

Shake Milton and Glenn Robinson III both played a big role in the blowout. Milton had 11 points to lead all reserves and showed off some of his finishing skills around the rim. Robinson was strong defensively and was a big part of the Sixers’ smothering attack.

They both made up for Richardson, who had a rough night, going just 1 of 7 from the field.

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Ben Simmons spectacular as Sixers beat Grizzlies in NBA2K simulation despite head-scratching substitutions

Ben Simmons spectacular as Sixers beat Grizzlies in NBA2K simulation despite head-scratching substitutions

At one point in the first quarter of Monday night’s NBA2K simulation on NBC Sports Philadelphia between the Sixers and Grizzlies, Ben Simmons had eight points and Memphis had none.

The Sixers started the game on a 17-0 run and Simmons was excellent, finishing with 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 103-89 road win.

Here are a few observations on the virtual victory:

Spectacular Simmons

Simmons set the tone by breaking free for two dunks off steals on presumptive Rookie of the Year Ja Morant. He stymied Morant all game, pressuring the ball, restricting his passing lanes and contesting his mid-range attempts.

Offensively, Simmons mixed nifty, soft finishes around the rim with ferocious dunks. The Australian didn’t attempt a three but was more willing to shoot jumpers than usual, trying a few and making one from the right elbow in the first quarter.

Harris helps turn the tide 

The 2K version of Harris is surprisingly good at drawing fouls. That’s not a strength for Harris in real life, but virtual Harris’ ability to draw contact in the second quarter was key after the Sixers had squandered that 17-0 lead and allowed Memphis to go in front.

Though Harris’ total of 31 points was boosted a bit by some scoring when the game was out of hand, he helped the Sixers restore control. When the Sixers have blown double-digit leads on the road this season, the rest of the game hasn’t typically transpired like Monday’s.

Head-scratching substitutions 

The Sixers paired Kyle O’Quinn and Joel Embiid for extended stretches in both halves, which was a bizarre decision. 

Perhaps the rationale was to minimize the time Embiid and Al Horford played together and to experiment with a new lineup, but there are much better ways to stagger Embiid and Horford’s minutes than using O’Quinn as a power forward in a close game. Memphis went on a 20-5 run during the first Embiid-O’Quinn stretch.

With 9:21 left in the game and the Sixers up 25 points, Simmons checked out ... but not for the night. Raul Neto had held down the fort just fine — the Grizzlies trailed by 24 with about three minutes to go — but Simmons was on the floor for the end of what was essentially a blowout win. 

Even if the plan was to give Simmons a shot at passing his career-high of 34 points, reinserting a player in his second game back from an injury under those circumstances was, to put it mildly, puzzling. 

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Ben Simmons returns, Joel Embiid dominates as Sixers crush Spurs in NBA2K simulation

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NBA2K20

Ben Simmons returns, Joel Embiid dominates as Sixers crush Spurs in NBA2K simulation

This simulation may have marked the return of Ben Simmons, but it was Joel Embiid who stole the show.

The All-Star center was utterly dominant in an 88-60 drubbing of the Spurs on the road in an NBA2K simulation.

The Sixers went on a 16-5 run in the second to take an eight-point lead into the locker room. They then proceeded to shoot over 70 percent from the field in the second half, opening up a lead as large as 30.

Here are observations from the virtual win:

Simmons returns but Embiid dominates

Simmons, who in reality had been out while dealing nerve impingement in his lower back, was solid in his return.

He hit his first couple shots and ran the show offensively, posting seven assists.

But Embiid’s performance topped them all. He easily put up over 20 points and 10 rebounds and controlled the paint defensively.

He was inexplicably still in the game with his team up 30 and under a minute to go. But if he wasn’t, we would’ve never gotten this emphatic dunk ... and shushing of the (correct) crowd.


J-Rich delivers, slow start for Harris

Aside from Embiid, Josh Richardson was outstanding offensively in this one, scoring 20-plus points. He shot a scorching 10 of 13 from the field, hitting his first three shots of the second half to help the Sixers extend their lead.

Tobias Harris didn’t do so hot early, forcing a couple off target mid-range jumpers and getting beaten by All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan. Harris seemed to find his footing when virtual Brett Brown shifted him to the four alongside Al Horford at the five.

The backup point guard situation is … something

Matisse Thybulle as a backup point guard? Well, no one can say the virtual Brown isn’t afraid to try things. This eventually shifted to Alec Burks — who was solid off the bench with seven points — and, finally, the correct decision in Shake Milton.

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