Happy Hump Day, folks! Let’s make this another productive and safe day.
Well, we finally got a glimpse of the new-look 76ers in last night’s 108-99 preseason victory over the Boston Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center. Joel Embiid looked good. Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey were the other standouts. Tobias Harris had a solid offensive game, while Danny Green was the king of steals.
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Maxey shines in preseason debut
Maxey entered the game at the start of the fourth quarter, and, after settling down, became a problem.
The Celtics reserves had no answers for the Sixers’ 2020 first-round pick.
He began his first NBA action by committing a turnover and having a 4-foot floater blocked with 8 minutes, 39 seconds left in the game. However, he assisted on Tony Bradley’s cutting dunk two seconds later.
Then it was as if the 21st overall pick was back at Kentucky a couple of minutes later, scoring six straight points for the Sixers. He had a reverse layup, followed by a 12-foot floater and a 9-foot floater.
“He is good, and I have said that,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He is a good player and he is going to push for minutes. He is a good basketball player, knows how to play; you can’t speed him up.”
It was evident that the Celtics reserve guards couldn’t do anything to contain him.
Maxey finished with eight points on 4-for-6 shooting to go with three assists and one turnover while playing the entire fourth quarter.
Three of his four baskets came on floaters. Maxey’s last made shot was a 14-foot floater with 3:17 to play.
That floater became a big part of his game while at South Garland High School in Garland, Texas. That’s when Maxey realized he was going to be only 6-foot-3 and needed a shot to offset that.
“I am pretty athletic,” he said. “I can go in and kind of jump over defenders sometimes. But to preserve your body, that mid-range is kind of a key, a lost art in the NBA; especially as a guard coming off the ball screens, bigs are going to drop for the most part.”
So Maxey has developed a pull-up jumper, a mid-range pull-up floater, and runners in his game.
“He has a plethora of shots,” Rivers said, “makes simple plays.”
Sixers beat Celtics, 108-99, in preseason opener as Joel Embiid dominates amid solid spacing. Embiid finished with 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting to go with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 17 minutes.
The Sixers are back in the Wells Fargo Center, and where they go from here is anybody’s guess, David Murphy writes. The one thing we can say is that basketball was played. That counts for something.
Giannis is about to get paid
One of the biggest questions of the 2020-21 season got answered Tuesday afternoon.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was in line to be next summer’s top free-agent target, agreed to sign a five-year, $228 million, super max contract to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks.
That $228 million will be on top of the $108.6 million in basketball salary alone that Antetokounmpo will have already have made through this season.
That sounds like some serious #GenerationalWealthFlow to me for the two-time reigning NBA MVP.
Friday: Sixers at Indiana Pacers, 6 p.m., Bankers Life Fieldhouse, NBA Sports Philadelphia (preseason game)
Dec. 23: Washington Wizards at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia (regular-season opener)
Dec. 26: Sixers at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m., Madison Square Garden, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA-TV
Dec. 27: Sixers at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m., Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Dec. 29: Toronto Raptors at Sixers, 7 p.m., Wells Fargo Center, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Passing the rock
Question: Realistically, how far do you see the Sixers going in the playoffs with their current roster? — @nicolefranzzzz on Twitter
Answer: Hello, Nicole. How have you been? Thanks for the great question.
It’s tough for me to answer at this time, because I would like to see them play more games. The answer will have a lot to do with where the Sixers are seeded. I don’t see them getting out of the first round if they finish fifth or sixth in the Eastern Conference. However, I can see them winning a first-round matchup if they finish third.
But regardless of their seed, I don’t see the Sixers advancing past the second round. Now, my opinion could change in a couple of weeks. But as of now, I don’t see them getting out of Round 2.