The Philadelphia 76ers took a 3-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors last night after Joel Embiid hit a shot he’ll remember forever.
EMBIID FOR THREE WITH 0.7 LEFT IN OT ? pic.twitter.com/mGayMHD6W1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 21, 2022
The Sixers were down by as much as 17 in the first half before making their comeback push. While Embiid was largely responsible for the comeback in the 3rd quarter, we can’t discount someone that made a huge impact down the stretch. Yet again, Tyrese Maxey made his impact on the game when it mattered most.
Though the playoffs so far, Maxey is averaging 26.7 points per game on 60/47/100 shooting splits. This is absolutely absurd for a 21 year old, let alone one that had never started in a playoff game before this season. Unlike another Sixers “guard”, Maxey took on the pressure of the playoffs extremely well. In his first start, Maxey dropped a playoff career high 38 points. This is just 4 points less than Ben Simmons’ overall career high.
In his second game he may not have scored as many points, but he was very impactful nonetheless. We may be starting to see James Harden truly rub off on Tyrese Maxey as he nearly had a 23 point triple double. His full stat line consisted of 23 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds on 72.7% FG shooting and 50% 3PT shooting. He was a huge part in the Sixers second blow out of the Raptors.
This past game may not been his best game, but he made his impact. Maxey only shot 44.4% from the field and 20% from deep, and this was accompanied by 5 turnovers. In his first 2 games combined, Maxey turned the ball over just once. A certainly very uncharacteristic performance in that aspect. However, Maxey made his mark at the end of the game. He hit a couple big shots in the clutch and in overtime which greatly helped the Sixers win that game. He definitely deserves his credit even if it wasn’t his best performance. All in all, he finished with 19 points, 4 assists, and a steal. Maxey also locked down Fred Vanvleet once again which kept the Raptors offense in check.
I do want to add a side note to just appreciate how well Tobias Harris has adapted to his new role with the team. He completely understood that his role was going to change, and he is seeming to strive in it. So far through 3 games he’s averaging 19 points per game 9.3 rebounds per game and 1.7 blocks per game on 58/63/83 shooting splits. Harris has been unbelievably impactful on the defensive end, especially in last night’s comeback victory. Down the stretch, Harris had Pascal Siakam clamped up and didn’t let him get a bucket. He also made a few very key plays fighting for the ball to make sure that the Sixers got possession. This is very refreshing for Sixers to see after a long up and down season of uncertainty in him and his contract.
Thankfully for the 76ers and their fans, we’ve have a few players step up so far this postseason. Tyrese Maxey is the big name that we have been seeing but Harris deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done thus far. Let’s hope the Sixers can close out the series in Toronto on Saturday and get the team some well deserved rest before the next series. Oh and one more thing, PLAY THE FREAKING SONG!!!