Three Observations From Sixers’ Win Over Rockets
The Sixers would head to Houston on Wednesday night looking to extend their win streak to six games. Similar to the rest of the recent opponents, the Rockets were operating with a depleted roster.
Remaining focused in these final regular season games has been a point of emphasis for the Sixers. They would take care of business against a poor Rockets team, winning by a final score of 135-115.
Here are three observations from the Sixers' sixth-straight win.
Confident Ben Simmons
Since coming back from injury, Ben Simmons has been a huge boost to the Sixers. The time off appears to have done wonders for the 24-year-old both physically and mentally.
Simmons did a great job setting the tone from the opening tip. He continued his elite-level defense, shutting down Rockets' guard Kevin Porter Jr. and assert himself on the offensive end. Simmons made his presence felt around the rim, scoring in the post.
This hot shooting around the rim led to him stepping out and hitting a fadeaway jumper in the closing moments of the first quarter.
When all was said and done Simmons would score 10 points in just under 25 minutes of action. The confidence and aggressiveness in this game resembled some of the play we saw from Simmons leading into the All-Star break. Seeing him look to assert himself on offense is a great sign as the postseason is waiting just around the corner.
Matisse Thybulle's defensive impact
We are running out of words to describe just how good Matisse Thybulle is on defense. In just his second season, Thybulle has put himself in the conversation as one of the best defenders in the league.
His impact on defense never goes overlooked. Thybulle would enter the game on Wednesday and instantly made himself known on that end. In just his first six minutes, Thybulle racked up two steals and blocks.
He would go on to finish the game with three steals and four blocks. Despite playing role player minutes, Thybulle always manages to get his on the defensive end.
The elite-level defense he brings off the bench puts him at the top of the list of potential X-factors for the Sixers in the playoffs.
Taking care of business
In this final lap of the regular season, the Sixers have found themselves with the league's easiest remaining schedule. They took full advantage of it early on in this win streak, winning multiple games in blowout fashion. The same can not be said for their previous two games, as they remained close and required added effort.
The Sixers got back to their dominant ways against the Rockets, winning in another blowout. After two games being much closer than they needed to be, the Sixers came in and just took care of business.
The second unit has had some trouble holding on to leads, but it wasn't the case against the Rockets. Doc Rivers would get his starters an early exit and not have to make them return.
Winning in this fashion provides a lot of long-term benefits. The biggest being the starters getting added rest this late in the season. Grueling scheduling has not done the Sixers any favors. So when opportunities to get stars off their feet and still walk away with wins arise, they can't be wasted.
There is no reason the Sixers cannot keep winning in this fashion to close the season. It will come down to staying focused and not overlooking any opponents.