By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 22, 2018
Philadelphia 119, Memphis 105 – Box Score
On a snow-filled night in Philadelphia, Sixers fans were treated to both free hot dogs and a stark reminder of how far the team has come. Currently sporting the second-worst record in the league, Memphis is basically what the Sixers were the last few years (minus a cogent long-term plan), Marc Gasol and a roster of borderline D-league-level talent. Grit n’ Grind is dead and now the Grizzlies just get ground into dust. Meanwhile, just two seasons after winning 10 games total, the Sixers are now 10 games over .500, reaching 40 wins with 12 games left to play. Eat your heart out, Colin Cowherd.
Philadelphia didn’t play their best in the first half, but thanks to an endless series of missed Grizzlies jumpers, they held a comfortable 14-point lead at the half. The third quarter is when the Sixers really broke the game open, going on a 24-3 run to eventually build a lead as large as 35 points. In truly balanced fashion, all five starters (plus Marco Belinelli) would finish the game between 13 and 15 points. The lopsided score allowed head coach Brett Brown to empty the bench, as we were treated to 15 minutes of Richaun Holmes trying to atomize the rim with a series of dunks.
The blowout came at the perfect time for the Sixers, who are traveling to Orlando for a game tomorrow night. People had been speculating the team would try to find a game to rest Joel Embiid, but they may have found a loophole with the big man only logging 20 minutes. Embiid was rather emphatic that he wouldn’t be in favor of showing up to the arena in street clothes any time soon.
Before the game, head coach Brett Brown said they'd try to find a game to rest Joel Embiid down the stretch. Embiid disagreed. "I'm playing in every game. We didn't come this far to rest me." #sixers
— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) March 22, 2018
The Magic game is the final of five straight against the true dregs of the league; the Sixers have taken care of business in the first four. Philadelphia is straddling the line brilliantly between having one of the youngest teams in the league and still managing to achieve on-court success. What a difference a Process makes.