What was initially thought of to be a potential thriller on Monday night instead turned out to be a lopsided affair as the Philadelphia 76ers embarrassed the Los Angeles Lakers with a wire-to-wire victory at home, 138-94, to improve to 12-5 on the season.
The 76ers put on a basketball clinic against LeBron James and company, and played their most efficient game yet this season. Joel Embiid registered the team’s first triple-double this season with 33 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists while Tyrese Maxey did not have much trouble against the Lakers, logging 31 points to lead both teams in scoring.
Philadelphia got solid contributions from basically everybody, but the team may have just found a hidden gem amid this one-sided outing.
The 76ers may have just found a hidden game after embarrassing the Lakers
The usual suspects turned in big numbers, but this game was all about the unsung heroes for the 76ers. Patrick Beverley broke out of his season-long shooting slump and was amazing on defense, and Nicolas Batum was his typical do-it-all self, albeit with the stat sheet backing him up this time.
However, Marcus Morris Sr. was perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, contributing 16 points built off of four three-pointers, three of which came in the first half as Philadelphia raced out to a double-digit lead and never looked back. It was definitely timely, especially with Tobias Harris not having the best shooting game last night.
After having become some sort of an afterthought in the James Harden trade due to his limited role so far, Morris showcased how he can help the 76ers on both ends of the floor off the bench.
Spot-up shooting has always been one of the veteran forward’s strong suits, and now thrust to a more ancillary and natural role after being overcast as a tertiary scoring option on the Clippers, Morris showed that he can still be effective as a play finisher without the burden of creating for himself and bailing out the offense.
Morris may not have the steady hands or the consistency of Batum, but he undoubtedly touts more punch as a scorer. Defensively, while not as potent as the Frenchman (or Robert Covington), he is still a robust presence on that end with his size and strength at the forward position and gives the 76ers someone they can throw against opposing forwards in spurts.
With the ability to play all frontcourt positions, Marcus Morris Sr., when healthy and engaged, can still be a reliable rotation player for the Philadelphia 76ers. And with how below average the bench minutes have been at large, his consistency as a contributor will be important as the team hopes to snag more edges and subsequently, more wins.