Tyrese Maxey shines, but the Sixers lose to a G-League version of the Miami Heat, 101-96
Another night, another ugly loss in the books for the Philadelphia 76ers. Tonight, the Miami Heat were in South Philadelphia without a bunch of key players, including Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro (if you consider him a key player).
Miami dominated the game throughout the first three quarters. The Sixers trailed by 20 points at one point in the third quarter but ended up fighting back to at least make the game look respectable on paper, losing 101-96.
The 76ers let Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson beat them. It was absolutely miserable to watch. For those unfamiliar with Gabe Vincent, he was that dude on the Nigerian Mens Basketball team that beat the United States in the Olympics last year. Vincent scored 26 points and hit seven three pointers against the 76ers tonight.
Philadelphia struggled against Miami’s 2-3 zone all night, which is nothing new for this team. They continue to struggle against the most simplistic form of defense in the game of basketball. The entire offense was on the verge of nonexistent, with Tyrese Maxey standing out as the lone star of the night.
Maxey was 11-for-15 from the floor and 2-for-5 from three point range. He scored 27 points and added three rebounds and five assists. This was the first game that Maxey and Embiid played together in which Maxey was actively enabled as a main scorer.
The second year guard lead the Sixers down the stretch and effectively took over the game in two different stretches of the game. He still isn’t getting much respect from the officials, but his aggressiveness going to the basket was the driving force behind the Sixers offense for a large portion of this game. Embiid struggled against the zone and ended the night 5-for-13 from the floor with 17 points.
Joel Embiid was clearly the focus of Miami’s defense. They switched into a 2-3 zone fairly early on and made it difficult for Joel to get the ball, and then immediately doubled him to take him out of the play. Even still Embiid scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Philadelphia has no idea how to operate without Embiid’s dominance it was exemplified in their struggles offensively tonight.
Tobias Harris played well compared to his standards this season, shooting 9-for-18 from the floor and 3-for-7 from three point range for 24 points. More importantly, Harris notched two massive buckets down the stretch including a game tying jumper from beyond the arc. This game was a step in the right direction with Harris, and it will hopefully be the start of him getting back to playing at a high level.
Congrats to Danny Green on making his 1,500th career three pointer tonight. He was actually a really important factor in the Sixers’ come back, scoring nine points off the bench and playing great defense late in the game.
It’s impossible to make a fair judgement about this team. They went from arguably their best game against Golden State, to consecutive losses in atrocious fashion. Now all we can hope for is Embiid to stay healthy and Daryl Morey to get busy.
Philadelphia returns to action tomorrow in Brooklyn to play Kevin Durant and the Nets.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Image