The Philadelphia 76ers would have a tale of two games this weekend in their matchups against the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They would have a rocky start in their loss to Zion Williamson and the Pelicans but would get things back on track with an easy win over the Thunder.
Here are some grades from the weekend's matchups
Harris would only play in part one of this back to back, sitting out against the Thunder due to knee soreness. Despite a rough showing against the Pelicans, Harris would be one of the few bright spots.
He would be the team's leading scorer that night, scoring 23 points on rather efficient 7-16 shooting from the floor. Harris would also come down with seven rebounds and dish out three assists in his efforts.
This matchup would be a rare off night from Joel Embiid, and Harris did everything he could to lead the charge. He would do everything he could to lead a late charge to storm a potential comeback, but it would not be enough.
After struggling against the Celtics the game prior, Harris not only would get back on track against the Pelicans, but he would step up when needed. That is why he walks away with an A for the weekend.
One player that would turn in good performances on both nights would be Furkan Korkamz. He would start things off by providing a nice spark off the bench against the Pelicans, hitting four threes en route to scoring 12 points. Then would come alive on Saturday against the Thunder.
Korkmaz would be inserted into the starting lineup due to Harris and Danny Green being sidelined, and he would take full advantage of this opportunity.
With extended minutes Korkmaz would erupt for 20 points and be the team's second-leading scorer behind Joel Embiid. He would hit four threes for the second straight game and grab a career-high five steals in the matchup.
The bench has had its struggles at times, so whenever one player gets hot, they have to ride the momentum. Hopefully, Korkmaz can build off some strong play this weekend and go on another hot streak.
Simmons would put up solid performances in both games, but there was one area that puts him just short of an A.
In Friday's loss to the Pelicans, he filled the entire stat sheet, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Simmons' blemish would be his turnovers, where he would give the ball away six times.
Six turnovers is a bit concerning for a player like Simmons, who runs the offense. That being said, he would take much better care of the ball in Saturday's win over OKC.
Simmons would come out and score 13 points against the Thunder on stellar 5-9 shooting. He would also dish three assists, turning the ball over zero times in the process.
Along with taking care of the ball, Simmons would also experiment with his offensive game, where he would take multiple jump shots around the foul line area.
Outside of the turnover problems against the Pelicans, Simmons would have solid performances. The numbers aren't flashy, but he continues to impact every area of the game on a nightly basis.
No player had a bigger night and day difference between both games than Joel Embiid. Not many teams have been able to contain the All-Star center, but the Pelicans managed to do so.
Whether it was dealing with his knee and the brace he now wears or the physicality of the matchup, Embiid would struggle on Friday night. He would score just 14 points on 5-16 shooting from the floor.
Things would be a completely different story on Saturday night. Embiid took advantage of a weaker Thunder team and effortlessly put on a dominant showing. He would shoot just under 60% from the floor en route to leading the Sixers with 27 points in the win.
This back-to-back became sort of a blessing in disguise for Embiid. Allowing him to erase that poor performance against the Pelicans and get back to being his usual dominant self on both ends of the floor.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.