Don't forget about Ben Simmons' defense

AP Images

Don't forget about Ben Simmons' defense

Friday's Sixers victory over the Indiana Pacers — moving the Sixers to over .500 for the first time since the oh-so-magical beginning to the 2013-14 season — will undoubtedly be remembered as the JJ Redick game, and rightly so. Jonathan Clay hit maybe the three biggest shots of the night, all threes, all in the final two and a half minutes, all with the game largely still in the balance. The second of them was one of the bigger shots in Sixers regular-season history, with the clock expiring and Redick shooting against his body, swishing nonetheless. Redick had actually been in something of a slump from three lately — just 3-19 across his last four, including an uncharacteristically rough 1-6 against Atlanta in his first game back from injury — but bouncing back with 31 on 8-12 from deep will certainly re-instill whatever confidence lost. 

But even if last night's game was JJ Redick's Process Bar Mitzvah, I still wanna talk about Ben Simmons today. He had a rough-ish shooting night from the field, only hitting 5-13, but still racked up his second triple-double of the season, with 14 points, 11 boards and 11 assists, including dimes on two of those final three Redick triples. He even hit all four of his free throws, bringing his average for the year at the charity stripe all the way up to ... well, 59 percent still isn't great, but it's better than 55 percent anyway. 

Yet with all this, what really impressed me with Simmons last night was his late-game defense, which absolutely bailed the Sixers out late in this one. He made the Sixers' two biggest plays on the other side of the ball, first snuffing out a Darren Collison drive in transition that should've been an easy layup after Joel Embiid blew a wide-open dunk at the other end. Then standing tall against Victor Oladipo — in which Oladipo (who torched the Sixers for 31) tried desperately to draw a foul on Simmons after pump-faking, but which Simmons side-stepped while still contesting. He also ended with two steals and a career-high three blocks, making for maybe his most complete all-around performance on the season. There aren't a lot of things this guy can't do. (Besides, y'know, shoot with the correct hand.) 

So yeah, the Sixers are a winning basketball team. They've mostly won the games they should've won and lost the games they shouldn't — consider the two Houston games a draw — so you don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves, even if we do currently sit in fifth in the East. We're still basically a middle-of-the-pack team at the moment. But we've got talent, we've got shooting, we've got versatility, we've got infinite upside, and now we're even winning close games. As long as we've also (mostly) got health, may this regular season never end. 

Blue Jays bullpen overhears apparent breakup, tweets to offer help

Blue Jays bullpen overhears apparent breakup, tweets to offer help

There’s nothing like taking the person you love to a baseball game on a sunny, 80-degree night in Philadelphia. Unless you just so happen to break up with that person, in public and loud enough for the entire Toronto Blue Jays bullpen to hear you.

Looks like you’ve got a chance to make up and get an outside opinion from several members of a professional baseball team!

If you happen to know this couple, let them know that the Blue Jays are looking for them and a happily-ever-after ending could still be in reach.

If not, there’s always "The Bachelor."

Joel Embiid throws down playground dunk on poor soul

Courtesy of @FeliciaRicci Twitter account

Joel Embiid throws down playground dunk on poor soul

Where's Waldo?

How about Where's JoJo?

It's always awesome when Joel Embiid pops up around the city.

Let's be honest, it's hard to miss the Sixers' 7-foot-2 big man.

Like the time he was playing ball on the playground by Pat's and Geno's. Or the time he was just casually going for a run through the Philly streets.

Embiid was back at it Friday, hoopin' on the blacktop and dunking on a poor fella that had zero chance but gave good effort. According to the Twitter account @FeliciaRicci, who captured it all, the park was near Whole Foods on South St.

And later in the evening, Embiid was clearly tuning into Game 6 of the Cavaliers-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals series. He had some fun on Twitter, of course, stemming from a tweet he sent out earlier in the week.

Not a bad way to kick off the holiday weekend for Embiid.