Robert Covington deserves all of the money.
This is just a fun picture so I’m gonna put it here:
The Sixers once again refused to care about your blood pressure, well-being, or sleep schedule. After jumping ahead to a 14 point lead early on, the Sixers went back and forth with the Clippers (going down by as many as 6) before pulling away at the last possible minute for a 109-105 win.
Joel Embiid, facing questions about his physical and mental shape, pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds, played a career-high 36 minutes, and scored 32 points (one shy of tying a career-high), but he also shot only 1 for 5 from three an 9 for 15 from the line. He showed his heart and his muscle, but he still didn’t look full Joel Embiid. That’s scary.
Two things about his game were VERY Embiid, however. JoJo forced DeAndre Jordan to foul out in just 30 minutes, which forced Willie Reed to guard JoJo. That brings us to the second very Embiid thing JoJo did: He really got under Reed’s skin. After a couple of chippy trips down the court back and forth, Reed could no longer keep his cool:
Willie Reed goes right at Embiid two plays in a row and gets a flagrant one
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) November 14, 2017
After the game, Embiid already forgot Reed’s name.
Ben Simmons started off by dunking everything and anything. That’s not even a joke. At one point, he had score 7 baskets, all via dunk:
Ben Simmons has a dunk party in the first half on League Pass! http://pic.twitter.com/ichBHgq5Li
— NBA (@NBA) November 14, 2017
Yet Simmons, as a part of the whole team’s refusal to stop giving the ball away to the Clippers, finished with more turnovers than assists for the first time in his career (5 to 4), though he added 12 rebounds and 22 points for his 8th double-double in 13 games.
It’s too late and I’m too tired to talk about Dario Saric’s game, so I’ll just say it was pure and total trash. Remember this scene from the Replacements?
That was Dario’s game. Things got worse and worse and worse (until he made one good pass at the end). It was just bad.
And finally, Robert Covington is going to get paid. By all accounts his contract extension is already worked out (it can’t be announced until Wednesday) but he’s doing everything to earn it. Tonight, Cov didn’t miss a single shot in the first half, finished with a career-high 31 points (9 of 12 from the floor, 5 of 8 from three), and added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. On the three pointer that essentially locked the game in for the Sixers, you could see a crowd scattered with Sixers fans explode in Los Angeles:
Covington is averaging 16.8 points and is shooting a clean 50% from long range on 7.4 attempts per game. He’s playing so far above and beyond expectations that I expect every single one of his shots to miss terribly just because of the law of averages. Sure Embiid played 36 minutes and neared a career-high in points, sure Simmons shot 64.3% from the floor, but Robert Covington won this game.
The Sixers remain in LA and are back in Staples Center at 10:30pm Wednesday to face the Lakers in one of this early season’s most anticipated games.