The playoffs are where players make a name for themselves, and second-year guard Tyrese Maxey might be on his way to doing that.
In Game 1 of Philly’s first-round series against the Raptors, the 21-year-old Maxey scored 21 of his 38 points (14-21 FG, 5-8 3FG, 5-5 FT) in the third as the 76ers routed the Raptors 131-111 at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night.
According to SportsRader, Maxey’s 38 points were the most by a 76er age 21-or-younger in a playoff game in franchise history. In addition, he joined LeBron James and Magic Johnson as the only players to score at least 38 points at 22 years and 163 days or younger.
“He was great,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said about Maxey after the win. “I mean, we worked on that little action for four days, and his speed is a factor; we know that we have to keep using it, putting him in space, some nights maybe him driving and passing, tonight it was him driving and getting to the basket and making shots.”
The 21-point third quarter for Maxey was the most by a 76er since Allen Iverson’s memorable 2001 season, where he had 26 points in the fourth quarter in the Eastern Conference Finals.
According to Maxey, the team wanted him to be aggressive in this series.
“Honestly, I just went out there and tried my best for my team,’ he said. “I mean, that’s really all I do every single night and being aggressive, they told me I needed to be aggressive in this series, and I tried to start out fast for us.”
Tobias Harris, who had 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists, added on Maxey: “It was pretty spectacular, really. Honestly. That third quarter. The stretch that he [Tyrese Maxey] had. The shots that he was making. The confidence. It was just all coming together. Even from the beginning of the game, he had it going. That third-quarter stretch, we had a couple of possessions early on where we didn’t really get what he wanted. Once we got the ball in his hands, he just got to it. Made his looks and just had it rolling. Hats off to him because he played a heck of a game.”
James Harden saw growth from Maxey.
I saw growth,” Harden said. “I saw from being up and down not really having consistent minutes last year in the postseason to starting and playing a huge role in a championship contender team. He was calm out there; he took his shots when they were open, he took his attacks when they were available, and he just made the right play which he does. Since I’ve been here, I’ve saw that, so tonight was no different; he took his shots, and he was ultra-confident, and that’s what we are going to need going forward.”
Embiid wants to see Maxey and the 76ers play like this three more times.
“I mean, it’s great; like I’ve been saying, we all need everybody, so I am happy that he played so well tonight,” Embiid said. “He’s been doing that all season, so it’s only one game, so we need to do it three more times.”
If Maxey does this three more times in this series, we’ll be talking about him for a long time.
Game 2 is Monday night in Philly.
-According to Elias Sports Bureau, Embiid (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Harden (22 points, 14 assists) became the fourth pair of 76ers teammates to post reach a point-rebound and point-assist double-double in the same game.
-Maxey’s 38 points while shooting .667 from the floor is tied for the best field-goal percentage in league history by a player 21 years-or-younger while scoring at least 35 points (Stathead).
On Thursday, the 76ers sent Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2027 first-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap.
Harden will not play this weekend for the 76ers, and there is no word on when he will be available for Philadelphia.
Following their 100-87 victory over the Thunder Friday night, Joel Embiid, who had 25 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and five blocks, talked Harden.
“It’s James Harden,” Embiid said. “First of all, sucks to lose some of my teammates, Seth [Curry] did such a great job for us the year-and-a-half he was here; Drum [Andre Drummond] was as good as any backups that we’ve had in Philly since I’ve been here. So, you know, it sucks to lose him, but you know it’s James Harden, and he is one of the best players in the league, MVP. I don’t know. I am pretty excited; you add someone like that, your chances to win a championship get even bigger, so I’m just excited to get on with it and try to figure out how to put it all together as a team and go from there…
“Yeah, I talked to him, just a lot of excitement, you know, just excited. You talk about guys that I’ve played with [and] he’s probably going to be the best yet from what he has accomplished in his career so far, so it’s just about getting everybody the same page and finding how everybody plays, but we already have a system in place, and we’ve just gotta bring him along and try to get comfortable. It’s a bunch of new stuff, but a bunch of new stuff that he’s good at and then just put it all together.”
Tobias Harris, who also had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, reacted to the acquisition of Harden and Millsap.
The addition of James [Harden] is going to be huge for us, just how dynamic he is as a player, playmaker; his ability to score the basketball just putting a presence out there on the floor at the point guard position is going to be big for us, so the whole team is just excited to get him in here,” Harris said. “Paul Millsap, as well, will be a leader for our group as well, so we are excited to see how this thing comes together.”
If the 76ers want to win a title, Embiid believes the will players have to do everything in their power to make it happen.
“We’ve all gotta give up ourselves if we want to win,” Embiid said. “As you look the teams that have won in the past, whether you look at the Golden State teams. Even the Lakers or Milwaukee last year, they just move the ball. They play with each other. As I’ve been watching James [Harden], you put him in the pick and roll, and he’s probably up there as far as the best playmakers out of that pick and roll, so obviously you’ve got to add that even more to our offense because that’s what he’s good at. But like I said, we’ve all got to give up ourselves. I gotta become more of a, whether it’s a pick and roll player or pick and pop. Just to help my teammates to help him. Just like himself, he has to become off the dribble, three point shooter. But I get doubled a lot, so to be able to go against those double teams, you’ve got to be able to fire up threes off the catch, which is something he’s gonna have to do. But, it’s a work in progress. He’s my teammate.
‘Like I always push them to let it fly because I know that if we take those, and we make them, it’s gonna make other teams stop doubling me. It just opens up everything. So I think it’s all about everyone has to give up themselves to bring it all together. The focus is everybody’s on the same page about winning. It’s all about winning the championship. It doesn’t matter if I go out there and score 40 and someone scores 10. Or if someone else scores 40 and I score 10 or 20 points. It doesn’t matter as long as we get the win. And as long as everybody understands, that’s good. When you’ve got a team on the same page, that’s driven by winning a championship.”
it’s championship or bust for Philadelphia this season, and hopefully for them, Harden can be the missing piece.
Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid continued to be his dominant self Friday night against the Spurs. Embiid had his sixth straight game of 30 points and his 13th 30-point game of the season as he tallied 31 points, 12 boards, and seven assists.
Ultimately, the 76ers(22-16) would win their sixth straight after defeating San Antonio(15-23) 119-100 at Wells Fargo Center.
Embiid’s 30-point streak ranks second in the league this season to LeBron James(seven games).
In addition, Embiid joins Hall of Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson as the only 76ers to score at least 30 points in six straight games.
“There’s guys that trust me to make plays,” Embiid said postgame. “Like, I was telling them it’s not about scoring, it’s about making the right plays. These days teams don’t play man an; they play double. Stay aggressive, play double team and get shots off; you know I gotta get my guys open and make their job easier.”
The four-time All-Star is playing at an elite level, and before Friday’s win over San Antonio, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich showed Embiid some love.
“He’s obviously a wonderful player, and he’s playing some of his best basketball for sure,” Popovich said. “Everybody tries to guard him, front him, double team him, try to limit his catches, try not to foul him. All these kinds of things, but the game starts, and he scores 30 a night.
Embiid is getting it done for the 76ers, and after some COVID issues, which caused this team to struggle, Philadelphia is slowly climbing up the standings, and Embiid is the biggest reason.
The 76ers saw three players with stat lines of at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists against San Antonio. Embiid(31 pointts, 12 rebounds, seven assists), Seth Curry(23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists), and Tobias Harris(23 points, seven rebounds, five assists).
Per Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time since Jan. 18, 1991, where the 76ers had three players post such stat lines in the same game.
Watch below as Popovich talks Embiid:
The Philadelphia 76ers got another big performance from Joel Embiid on Wednesday night. After scoring a then playoff career-high 39 points in Game 1, Embiid came back and set a new playoff career-high with 40 points and 13 rebounds in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round matchup against the Atlanta Hawks.
However, the 76ers needed an unlikely hero to defeat Atlanta on Wednesday night.
With Philadelphia trailing 80-79 late in the third quarter, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers inserted Shake Milton, who has struggled during the playoffs. Milton proceeded to score six points in the third, including a 35-foot buzzer-beater to end the quarter, and scored eight more points in the fourth to finish with 14 points as the 76ers defeated Atlanta 118-102 at Wells Fargo Center to even the series at 1.
In 15 minutes of action, Milton was 5/8 from the field, including four threes.
Milton appeared to be out of the rotation, and before his explosion on Wednesday night, the third-year guard averaged 2.8 points per game while shooting 21% from the field in the playoffs. Despite his struggles, Rivers was impressed by Milton’s preparation.
“He prepared himself, and he believed that he would get another shot, and he got it,” Rivers said about Milton. “He gave us a huge lift. Very happy for him, personally.”
Tobias Harris, who scored 22 points in Game 2, was also happy for Milton.
“I’m extremely happy for him,” he said. “Happy and proud at the same time… For him, he’s been in and out of the rotation a bit in the playoffs, struggling a bit at times. But, he’s steadily in the gym, waiting for that moment, that opportunity. Here it came, and he took advantage of it”
In the first half, the Hawks’ bench outscored Philly’s bench 32-0, but the second half was a much different story for the 76ers, who had 26 bench points in the second half, which was a big reason Philadelphia was able to push the lead to as many as 21 points in the fourth.
Game 3 is Friday night in Atlanta.
In Game 1, Trae Young, guarded mainly by Danny Green, was tough to stop for Philadelphia as he scored 35 points and dished out 10 assists. However, in Game 2, the 76ers used the 6-11, Ben Simmons, to guard the 6-1 Young, and it worked. Young was just 6/16 from the field with 21 points and 11 assists.
As they enter Game 3, it should be interesting to see what the Hawks will do to get Young going. It also should be interesting to see how both teams will respond as the scene shifts to State Farm Arena for Games 3 and 4.
-Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari gave the Hawks a big boost in the first half on Wednesday night. Both Gallinari and Huerter scored 15 points apiece in the first half. Gallinari finished the game with 21 points, and Huerter added 20.
-Seth Curry scored 21 points for the 76ers in Game 2, including 5/8 from three-point range.
The Washington Wizards had no answer for Joel Embiid in Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday night; the MVP finalist shot 14/18 from the field, including 3/4 from three-point range to score a playoff career-high 36 points in 28 minutes of action as the 76ers defeated Washington 132-103 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena.
With the victory, Philadelphia takes a commanding 3-0 lead with a chance to sweep the series on Monday night. Every player in Philly’s starting lineup scored in double figures. Tobias Harris had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Danny Green added 15 points, including five threes.
Philadelphia shot 58% from the field on Saturday night and shot 51% from three-point range(17/33).
Washington cannot do anything to slow Embiid down. The four-time All-star is averaging 29.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists in this series. There was a big crowd at Capital One Arena for the first time this season, and at times, you could hear “MVP’ chants for Embiid in D.C.
“I can’t imagine anybody playing better than him,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said about Embiid. “That was MVP-level tonight. Tried different things on him tonight. Good player. He’s definitely a handful.”
Bradley Beal, who had 25 points in Game 3, talked about the greatness of Embiid.
“He’s a special talent,” Beal said. “You gotta respect him and tip your cap to him. Our whole game plan is basically centered around him. He’s a three-level scorer. He can score from outside on the three. He’s not like most bigs in the league; he can put the ball on the floor, shoot 3s, plays like a guard. It’s kind of crazy.”
Russell Westbrook(ankle) was a game-time decision, and to no one’s surprise, the former MVP played in Game 3 and had a triple-double with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
“I kind of knew after last game he was going to play,” Beal said. “Even if it was for two minutes, he was going to play.”
Now, the Wizards try to avoid the sweep on Monday night, which won’t be easy. Washington has many questions but little to no answers for what Philly is throwing at them. They tried to insert Davis Bertans in the lineup to get more size and shooting, but that did not work as the team shot 8/35 from three-point range.
Philly is just a bad matchup for Washington. Including the regular season, the 76ers are 6-0 against the Wizards. Even a 60-point outburst from Beal in the regular season was not enough to beat Philadelphia, so it’s going to take an extraordinary performance from a few different players for Washington to get a game in this series.
With Joel Embiid in foul trouble in the first half, the eighth-seeded Washington Wizards had a golden opportunity to steal Game 1 of their first-round series against the number one seed in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
However, they could not stop Tobias Harris in that first half. Harris scored 28 of his game and career-playoff high 37 points in the first half, Embiid added 21 of his 30 points in the second half, and Ben Simmons had six points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists as the 76ers defeated the Wizards 125-118 at Wells Fargo Center.
Game 2 will be in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Washington had six players in double figures led by Bradley Beal’s 33 points.
“I’m surprised we didn’t win,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said after the game. “We went to the game thinking about winning… We were solid but not good enough.”
Despite Harris; heroics in the first half, Washington led 62-61 at halftime. However, Philadelphia started to gain control in the third behind Embiid’s 13 points in the quarter, and Philly would take a 99-93 lead into the fourth. Washington would get the lead to as low as five points with just under one minute left. With a chance to slice the lead to three, Russell Westbrook stepped out of bounds, and Philly would hold on for the victory.
According to Beal, who scored 17 points in the third quarter, Washington did not play their best basketball on Sunday.
“I don’t think I played great,” Beal said. “I don’t think I had a good game. I think we still got a couple levels we can tap into.”
Beal is correct. The Wizards can play better. While Westbrook had 16 points, 14 assists, and five rebounds on Sunday, he did have six turnovers and shot 7/17 from the field, so they can get more from him.
Harris will probably not score 28 points in a half again in this series, but if Embiid stays out of foul trouble, he probably scores more than 30. The Wizards will have to limit everybody else not named Embiid because they have no answer for the All-Star center.
Philly was a little rusty in this contest after a week off, so this was the perfect game for the Wizards steal. However, this is the playoffs, so both teams will make adjustments, but it’s clear after Game 1 that the Wizards, who shot 55 percent from the field, can hang with the 76ers.
Now, in terms of winning this series, Washington will have to play better than they did in Game 1 to get that done.
-Harris and Embiid became the first Philadelphia teammates with at least 30 points in the same playoff game since 1990.
After making a big splash in the offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers are must-see TV. The NBA announced the schedule for the 2019-20 regular season today, and the Sixers will have 24 regular-season games that are slated to be on national TV across ABC, ESPN and TNT, including a season-opening matchup at home against Boston on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Philadelphia will also play 12 times on NBA TV.
The 76ers open the road schedule at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. against the Pistons, before concluding the team’s first trip on Monday, Oct. 28 against the Hawks at 7:30 p.m. at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
Philadelphia is set to host 2018-19 Kia NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at The Center on Christmas Day. The game is set for Wednesday, Dec. 25 and will be televised on ABC, starting at 2:30 p.m. The 76ers’ last Christmas Day home game was played on Dec. 25, 1988, when Philadelphia topped Washington 125-110, as Hall of Famer Charles Barkley tallied 25 points and 12 rebounds. Having played the last two Christmases (Boston, 2018; New York, 2017), this marks the 76ers’ third straight appearance on Christmas Day. The last time Philadelphia played on three consecutive Christmas Days was from 1986-88.
The Bucks, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and 76ers are set to face off three more times in 2019-20, with each game being played on national television. The two teams will meet twice in the month of February at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. on TNT and Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC. Philadelphia and Milwaukee will close out the four-game season series at The Center on Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. on TNT.
Other notable highlights include:
- To tip off an early season four-game Western Conference road trip, the 76ers will visit All-Star Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, Nov. 2 (10 p.m.).
- On Nov. 6 (9 p.m.), Philadelphia will take on 2018-19 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley and the new-look Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
- The 76ers will visit the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Monday, Nov. 25 (7:30 p.m.) in the first of four matchups between the division rivals. Last postseason, the two teams played a seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals series.
- 2019 No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans will make their lone appearance at The Center on Friday, Dec. 13 (7 p.m.).
- In the two teams’ second matchup of the 2019-20 season, Philadelphia will visit Boston and All-Star Kemba Walker on Thursday, Dec. 12 (8 p.m.) on TNT.
- Philadelphia will take on Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, Dec. 15 (6 p.m.) at Barclays Center in the first of four matchups between the two teams. Also included in the four-game series, the Nets and 76ers will face off in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee on Monday, Jan. 20 (3 p.m.) at Barclays Center.
- The Dallas Mavericks, led by 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Luka Dončić and All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, will travel to Philadelphia for a Friday, Dec. 20 (8 p.m.) matchup on ESPN.
- On Saturday, Jan. 25 (8:30 p.m.) on ABC, The Center will play host to All-Stars Anthony Davis, LeBron James and the L.A. Lakers.
- Three days later, on Tuesday, Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m.), the Golden State Warriors, led by All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and D’Angelo Russell will make their lone visit to Philadelphia.
- The 76ers will play host to 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, All-Star running mate Paul George and the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday, Feb. 11 (7 p.m.) on TNT.
- Philadelphia’s March 1-7 road trip will feature games at the L.A. Clippers (Sunday, March 1, 3:30 p.m., ABC), the L.A. Lakers (Tuesday, March 3, 10 p.m., TNT), Sacramento (Thursday, March 5, 10 p.m.) and Golden State (Saturday, March 7, 8:30 p.m., ABC). Three of the four games will be nationally televised.
- On Tuesday, March 31 (7:30 p.m.) on TNT, the 76ers will take on Houston Rockets’ All-Stars James Harden and Russell Westbrook in the only game between the two teams in Philadelphia.
- The 76ers will have 18 weekend games (six Fridays, seven Saturdays, five Sundays) at The Center.
- Philadelphia will play six games on ABC this season, tied for the most in the NBA (L.A. Lakers).
Philadelphia’s final regular season game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15 at The Center against the Hornets.
BREAKDOWN BY MONTH:
OCTOBER: 4 games (2 home, 2 road)
NOVEMBER: 16 games (7 home, 9 road)
DECEMBER: 16 games (9 home, 7 road)
JANUARY: 13 games (6 home, 7 road)
FEBRUARY: 11 games (6 home, 5 road)
MARCH: 15 games (8 home, 7 road)
APRIL: 7 games (3 home, 4 road)
Philadelphia 76ers G Ben Simmons can do a lot of things on the basketball court. He is an adept passer and has great vision; he can get to the lane and finish around the basket, and he is a solid defender. However, the one thing that is missing from his game is shooting.
In two NBA seasons, Simmons has not hit one three-point shot in his career(0-17), and he rarely takes jump shots. Last season, Simmons was 2-21 from shots between 15-19 feet, and he was 18-71 from 10-14 feet. Most of Simmons’ points have come on drives, putbacks, or in the post. While he was an All-Star last season, he did have issues against the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but maybe that will change next season.
According to Tobias Harris, who inked a five-year, $180 million deal to return to the 76ers, Simmons’ jump shot has looked good this summer.
“I was out in L.A, and I had linked up with Ben to workout,” Harris said today at his introductory press conference. “We played a lot of one-on-one. He’s in the gym religiously every day, grinding and getting better. He’s in great shape. Everybody was trying to figure out why I was guarding him at the three-point line. It was really because he hit two of them. When I dared him to shoot two of them, he hit two in a row, so that’s why I was there.
“He’s made big improvements on his game; his jump shot is looking really good. He has the confidence to shoot it, and I just kept telling him there, ‘like, even in this workout when you are playing, have the confidence to shoot them and don’t get discouraged If you miss. This is where you build that type of confidence.’ So, it was a good sight to see how hard he has been working. He looks really good for a great year.”
The 76ers have reportedly offered Simmons a five-year, $170 million extension, so they believe that he will develop his jump shot. Simmons is a very good player, and if he can make a 15-footer consistently, he will be tough to guard for years to come.
There were three different versions of the Philadelphia 76ers last season. They started the year with Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid as their starting five. Then, in November, Philly traded Covington and Saric to Minnesota to acquire Jimmy Butler, and finally, before the trade deadline, Philly acquired Tobias Harris from the Clippers, and after that trade, the 76ers had arguably one of the best starting lineups in basketball with Embiid, Harris, Butler, JJ Redick, and Simmons(Fultz also dealt before trade deadline).
Unfortunately, for the 76ers, it was not enough as they lost to Kawhi Leonard and the eventual world champions, the Toronto Raptors at the buzzer in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
While the 76ers had a lot of talent, they did not have enough time to develop as much chemistry as they may have liked, according to Tobias Harris.
“Obviously, we were one, couple bounces away from going into overtime versus the champs(Raptors) now,” Harris told Paul Gant on Wednesday at the 12th Annual Steve Nash Foundation Showdown in New York City. “We didn’t have enough time to really get the full chemistry as probably as we wanted to, but at the same time, it’s one of the most talented groups of players I have been a part of; we’ll see what happens. Having teammates here to talk to, Joel(Embiid), stuff like that. He’s the best big man in the NBA, so the talent level of the group was phenomenal, and we put ourselves in a position to win basketball games.”
Now, the 76ers have some decisions to make. Both Butler and Harris are free agents, and both will probably get max money. Whether that is in Philly, who knows, but Harris and Butler can make the most money with the 76ers, which can offer the most money and years. However, who knows how much that will impact their decision. On Wednesday, Harris outlined the things that will impact his decision in free agency.
“A great organization,” Harris said. “Obviously, winning is important for me; style of play is important, and just putting myself in the right opportunity to continue to improve my game and get better year in and year out. I know the work that I put in in the offseason correlates to the season, so I know what’s going to be expected of me as a player and just being in the right situation to excel at that.”
Listen below as Harris talks free agency, his short time in Philadelphia, his thoughts on possibly playing in Brooklyn, and more: