With huge shooting performances from Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick and a Game 3 win, the 76ers took control of their series with the Nets.
The 76ers lost homecourt advantage by dropping Game 1 to the Nets. They took it back in Game 3 in Brooklyn with an explosive offensive performance. Greg Monroe started in place of the ailing Joel Embiid but Ben Simmons was relentless and 3-pointers finally started falling for the Philadelphia. The onus is now on the Nets to figure out how to adjust and try to regain control.
The 76ers shooters made an appearance. All due respect to Mike Scott, the 76ers really feature two reliable shooters in their starting rotation — Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Through the first two games they had made just 6-of-19 3-pointers. Both showed up in a huge way in Game 3, combining to hit 11-of-15 from behind the arc, including a perfect 6-of-6 for Harris. The other 76ers — Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — all thrive in the middle of the floor and the spacing afforded them by Harris and Redick breaking through should be huge moving forward.
The Nets have to be hitting 3-pointers. The Nets structure relies on dribble penetration and swinging the ball to shooters and if those open shots aren’t going down the bottom falls out. The Nets were just 8-of-39 on 3-pointers in this game and, consequently, had just 12 assists. The drive-kick-and-swing game has served the Nets incredibly well this season but one leg of the stool fell off in Game 3.
Ben Simmons has answered the call. He took the brunt of fan vitriol for Philadelphia’s Game 1 loss but he’s been incredible ever since. Simmons attacked relentlessly, helping shoulder the burden Embiid’s absence left behind, shooting 11-of-13 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. He added another 9 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks, with his defense playing a huge role in helping make sure D’Angelo Russell needed as many shots as possible (26) to get his 26 points. The 76ers are back in control of the series and they are there, primarily, because of Simmons versatility and aggressiveness.