GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 109, New York Knicks 104

Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ben Simmons | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to struggle against lower-seeded teams…oh, and Ben Simmons hit a casual three

The Philadelphia 76ers were short one man, with Josh Richardson missing the game due to a lower body injury (nothing serious). Luckily the Sixers were playing the New York Knicks, who are 3-7 in their last 10 entering this game.

From the get go, something felt different about this game. Simmons hitting a mid-range shot while not doing his usual weird unnecessary fadeaway was very perplexing. Then Ben Simmons starting standing in the corner a lot, and it felt like something was coming.

After continuously staying in the corner and standing beside no one — instead of standing in dunker spot — Simmons received a pass from Furkan Korkmaz. The casual Sixers viewer already knows he’s going to drive in or make a bad pass. However this time, he was on his own island (Australia) with no one around him and he buried the three. It felt like the world stopped turning… but only for that brief moment.

After witnessing history, the first 5-10 minutes is exactly what people want to see from Ben Simmons, and it’s what he should be doing on a regular basis. Unfortunately, after his three was made, Ben Simmons went back to old habits. Standing in the dunker position and not taking another open shot again. Hopefully this can ignite a new fire under Simmons to start attempting more open shots, at the very least corner threes.

Besides the Simmons shot, the Sixers did not have their best game. Struggling against a bottom seeded team seems to be the trend lately, and it transpired again today. The Knicks couldn’t miss a shot to begin the third quarter and almost ran away with the game with their 19-5 run. Brett Brown settled the storm with a key timeout, leaving the Sixers to go on a run of their own.

Three big triples from Mike Scott in the fourth quarter is what the Sixers needed to win this game. It wasn’t a pretty win but it was a win nonetheless, with the bench coming up big with 45 points.

A. <strong>41 mins | 18 pts | 7 reb | 13 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 7-9 FG | 1-1 3PT| 3-4 FT | 2 PF | + 10 |</strong><p>Besides the big three-pointer, Ben Simmons had an overall very good game. Seeing double digits in the assist category is always a positive takeaway when looking at Ben’s stat line. He looked very aggressive on both ends of the floor, and this is the kind of performance the Sixers need from Ben on a consistent basis.</p>. PG. Philadelphia 76ers. BEN SIMMONS

B. <strong>33 mins | 21 pts | 12 reb | 5 ast | 0 stl | 2 blk | 3 TO | 7-19 FG | 1-7 3PT| 7-11 FT | 3 PF | + 10 |</strong><p>Embiid did not have his best game. Struggling to make threes and just chucking them was reminiscent of last year (he did hit the dagger three at least). Also missing both free throws at one point did not seem convincing.  There were a couple of nice passes from Embiid, and that part of his game seems to be slowly improving. Despite the poor shooting night, Embiid still had a solid outing.</p>. C. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

C. <strong>31 mins | 14 pts | 4 reb | 4 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 0 TO | 5-13 FG | 2-5 3PT| 2-4 FT | 0 PF | + 1 |</strong><p>Harris had a rather silent night. At times he felt like he was there, and other times he was just invisible. He didn’t have an awful game, but he was very passive and didn’t shoot particularly well either. He still looks like he can’t handle the closing minutes of the game, which is concerning because we know Embiid hasn’t been the best at closing either.</p>. SF. Philadelphia 76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS

Philadelphia 76ers. JAMES ENNIS. A. <strong>21 mins | 11 pts | 4 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 0 TO | 4-7 FG | 2-3 3PT| 1-2 FT | 0 PF | + 15 |</strong><p><a rel=. SF

A. <strong>23 mins | 12 pts | 4 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 1 blk | 3 TO | 4-8 FG | 4-6 3PT| 0-0 FT | 3 PF | + 10 |</strong><p>Mike Scott felt like the closer in this game. Coming up big in the moment and nailing his threes on big occasions. Shooting has always been a concern this year, but one player the team can count on to make big buckets is Mike Scott.</p>. PF. Philadelphia 76ers. MIKE SCOTT

Al Horford had a rather poor showing, shooting 27 percent from the field and being a team worse -15. Another player struggling to find anything was Furkan Korkmaz. Korkmaz struggled to hit shots, and didn’t offer the team anything good in the first half. Brown adjusted, cutting his time in the second half, and playing Trey Burke and Shake Milton instead, who looked way better than Korkmaz.

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The one takeaway from the game (except the Simmons three) was the first 5-10 minutes of the game. Seeing Simmons trying to find his own spot around the three-point line, sort of felt like we were seeing the paint slowly getting unclogged. If Brett can make Ben stay in the corner and open the floor with continuity, then the Sixers are headed in the right direction. It’s just a matter if Simmons will do that on the regular or not.