He has scored 20 or more points three times in the last four games, he continues to attack more, and is already the leading candidate for rookie of the year, but with the trajectory that he is on, he's a lock for the end of year honor. What was noticeable in Brooklyn is that Simmons isn't shying away from contact as much as he was early in the season. Though his 2-of-2 from the free throw line would lead you to think the opposite is true, he was driving straight into and around the defense without hesitation. There were a few times that contact may not have been called, but in time, the officials will start giving him the benefit of the doubt. He finished with 24 points.
It is still surprising that after this long, teams are not staying away from Embiid's rip-through move that causes so many fouls. Even more so, Jahlil Okafor, who knows maybe more than anyone how Embiid plays, was guilty of falling for the move more than once on Wednesday. Okafor was in foul trouble early — thanks in part to Embiid — and the rest of the Nets weren't safe. The Sixers shot 85.3 percent from the free throw line including Embiid's 12-of-14. He closed out the night with his 23rd double-double of the season with a 29 points and 14 rebounds.
Despite the productive outings from not only Simmons and Embiid, the Nets were shooting at a high rate and it was hard to keep up. The Nets went into Wednesday's game shooting 34.4 percent from three and 43.6 percent from the field. Brooklyn finished the night shooting 50.6 from the field and an impressive 40.6 percent on 32 attempts from three-point range. The Sixers shot the ball well overall, but Brooklyn was just a little bit better.
This is going to be something we talk about when the Sixers continue to turn the ball over at a high rate, or, when they shock us all and turn the ball over a season-low 8 times like they did against the Nets. In a tight game that was largely decided in the last few moments (and most likely was decided when Dario Saric's late putback was blocked), turnovers are one of the things that can hurt and often they hurt the Sixers. But despite the score and the situation, the Sixers kept a cool head and took care of the ball.