Hassan Whiteside put up a career high in points on Monday night against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. in nearly 33 minutes, Whiteside scored 32 points and pulled in 13 rebounds for the Heat, but it wasn’t enough as the Sixers beat the Heat 101-94.
As Whiteside was talking to Fox Sports South media after the game, he was clearly impressed with the passion Sixers fans came with on Monday night, especially behind Joel Embiid.
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“Philly loves that guy. I’ve never seen excitement like that, they love that guy. They love that dude. I was amazed.”
So far this season, Sixers fans have been really excited with the promising play that Embiid has brought to the floor on an almost nightly basis. While there has not been a ton to be excited with over the last few years, Embiid is definitely a bright spot. With Embiid having a tough route to his rookie year having missed two straight full seasons due to injury, it’s great to see the fans at home behind his every move.
Whiteside noticing that from the fans speaks volumes about one major thing that was missing during the last few seasons — a home court advantage is real for the Sixers. The Sixers are still by no means a regular home sellout team, but they are doing much better so far as far as attendance is concerned. With the Sixers notching a win over the Heat, the Philly crowd was clearly a factor.
Although they have played a few more home games than some other teams in the league, they’re currently fourth in the league in total attendance this year. Last season, the Sixers were 28th out of 30 in the league, and totaled 614,000 attendees throughout the year.
This year, the Sixers have already achieved 25 percent of their attendees from last year with just over 150,000 people coming to games so far.
What’s even crazier is that the Sixers will likely be debuting rookie forward and top overall pick from this year’s draft Ben Simmons later in the year, which will only spike ticket sales more as the year goes on.