With the Philadelphia 76ers missing superstar Joel Embiid right now due to a bone bruise, they have to rely on other players to step up in his place and provide production.
They have decided to turn to 23-year old fourth-year big man Tony Bradley in his place and the young man continues to deliver. He had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and two steals in Tuesday’s 108-98 win over the Golden State Warriors as he continues to produce.
The Sixers needed all of his production in this one as veteran Dwight Howard struggled a bit off the bench as Philadelphia blew a 24-point lead in this one.
“I just thought he was awesome,” said coach Doc Rivers. “If I had a star of the night, he would probably be it tonight. I thought Dwight struggled tonight and we needed a lift at that position and when he came back in the fourth quarter, I thought he did everything right.”
Bradley seemed to be able to have success against Warriors rookie James Wiseman as he used his size and strength against him. He looked like a savvy veteran out there providing the team with what they needed.
“I just want to play every game,” said Bradley. “Come up with some energy and effort. Just show a motor.”
The Sixers definitely appreciated his motor and his energy in this one. When Philadelphia needed a spark to get them back moving in the right direction, the young big man came through with a big play.
“He’s a guy who came into these minutes and is just doing a great job with them,” said Tobias Harris. “He loves to play, he comes to play, he has great energy, he doesn’t really say too much, but he goes out there, plays his tail off, and he just did so much dirty work for us today and defending really well. He just impacted the game on both sides so guys like that, it’s important. That’s winning basketball right there and he really helped us win tonight’s game.”
As mentioned before, Bradley is only 23-years old despite being in the league for over three seasons now. He still has a lot of developing to do and he is doing all of the dirty work the team needs on a nightly basis.
Some younger players will try to do too much when they are filling in for a guy of Embiid’s caliber, but Bradley is not doing that. He is staying within himself he is helping the team in a big way.
“We stay on him about falling in love with your role and being great at your role and doing it every night, and he’s doing that,” Rivers finished. “More importantly, just his work, man, I think he’s lost 20 pounds since the beginning of camp. He works after every practice after every game. I’m very happy for him. We forget how young he is too. I do at times even. I’m sure you guys do as well.”