After a disappointing loss on Christmas day, the Sixers needed to turn things around. Even with Embiid out and Maxey only shooting 4-20, they managed to keep it within single digits, but with that type of night from their best player, there was no chance. In an interview after the game, Maxey said he needs to “flush” that game, and flush it he did.

Bounce Back Win

Historically, Embiid-less Sixers teams could easily have fallen into a multi-game skid after dropping a tough game, but this team did not let that happen.

The Sixers traveled to Orlando with the hopes to get a win against another one of the top teams in the East – the Magic. The Sixers knew they would have to rely on their defense to win this game since the Magic are a top 5 defensive team in the league this year. Good thing the Sixers are top 5 in defense too.

The team did an all around great job limiting the Magic to just 92 points on 39% from the field and 27% from deep. Unless things go terribly wrong, not too many teams can win these days with numbers like that.

Because of this strong defensive performance, nobody had to have an extraordinary night on offense. The whole team contributed well with three players scoring 20+ points (Maxey 23, Harris 22, Melton 22) and three more in double figures.

Tobias Playing Aggressive

Right now is Tobias’ time to get comfortable in the offense. With Embiid out, he can be aggressive without stealing touches from a far superior player. Tobias has shown over the last few games that he still can be a scorer when called upon. In three of the last four games, he has scored over 20 points which has tremendously helped the Sixers.

Even on a night where Maxey scored 42, he found his way to 22 points on 55% from the field. Hopefully Tobias can keep playing aggressive and efficient like this once Embiid comes back.

Maxey 40-piece

After a big win against the Magic, Tyrese Maxey carried that momentum down to Houston for another game on this road trip.

The Rockets came out hot in the first, outscoring the Sixers 32-26, but that did not scare the Sixers. Maxey played all 12 minutes in the second quarter and scored 19 points on his own to bring them within 1 at half. He continued this dominant style of play all the way until the end of the game to finish with the win and 42 points.

Maxey continues to develop his game in such an important way. His style of a speedy scorer combined with his ability to take care of the ball is unmatched. He plays so smart all the time. He has 201 assists this year while only committing 47 turnovers which gives him a 4.27 assist to turnover ratio. Only nine players in the league are doing that better than him – none scoring more points than him. And to make it more impressive, Maxey has played the second most minutes in the league and is still only committing 1.5 turnovers per game.

Maxey really is becoming a star in front of our eyes.

The Return of Embiid

The Sixers were able to develop some more chemistry during Embiid’s absence, so hopefully they are able to continue that when he returns in the game tonight. Imagine the weight it will take off Embiid’s shoulders in the regular season if he can have Maxey be the primary scorer a few more times this seasons and maybe even Tobias could get in on that too. Anything they can do to win games while helping Embiid stay rested for the playoffs would be a huge boost.

 

 

Image by Justin Grasso

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