3 takeaways from the 76ers’ win over the Memphis Grizzlies

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

My third and final takeaway from the Sixers’ win over Memphis is that the team was competitive in the rebound battle. After last night’s game, per NBA.com, the Sixers are averaging 40.6 rebounds per game. That stands at 28th-best in the NBA. Memphis is 2nd-beset in the NBA pulling down 47.8 rebounds per game. It is important to note that Grizzlies center Steven Adams, averaging 11.6 rebounds, was out with a knee injury The Sixers lost the rebound battle 49-43 but grabbed about three more than their average. Adams’ injury certainly helped close the gap.

The Sixers did their part as well. Led by Embiid’s 19 rebounds, the team more often than not was spry in getting to the ball and rebounding as a team. Harden’s seven, Tucker’s six, Harris’ four, and McDaniels’ three rebounds pitched in. Adams’ absence absolutely helped Embiid move into the proper position for rebounds. The gargantuan Adams is always a handful for anyone to deal with. It is just another tough task that Embiid would have had to take on.

The “big fella” took full advantage of this. Embiid channeled all-time great center Bill Russell with his stat line and approach to the game. He focused on making the greatest impact on the defensive end of the floor. Cleaning the glass on one try. Finishing offensive possessions as quickly as possible as 17 of Embiid’s 19 rebounds were defensive rebounds.

The game felt like a playoff game. It was nice to stop and think that in some alternate universe that this is a 2022-23 NBA Finals preview, In reality, it was a hard-fought good Sixers win over a Memphis team whose play style is a test for Philly. Time will only tell if that alternate reality of a Sixers-Grizzlies Finals comes true. But more importantly, time will tell if the Philadelphia 76ers are proving that they can consistently win tough games against playoff teams.