Sixers regular season Bell Ringer standings:
James Harden - 4
Tyrese Maxey- 2
Joel Embiid - 2
The Sixers’ modest winning streak was snapped after three games with a 121-111 loss to the Wizards at home Wednesday. Without Joel Embiid (non-COVID illness) and De’Anthony Melton (lower back stiffness) the Sixers’ defense struggled mightily, with Washington scoring a whopping 68 points in the paint.
Let’s talk Bell Ringer.
Tyrese Maxey: 32 points (11 of 20 from the field, 5 of 9 from three), four assists
In the three games Embiid has missed (including Wednesday), Maxey has averaged 34.6 points a game. Doc Rivers and the Sixers need to find a way to optimize that pairing when Embiid is healthy.
Maxey looked like a star Wednesday. With his vastly improved shot — which he’s expanded out to roughly 28 feet now — paired with his lightning speed, he’s proving to be a difficult guard for opponents. Postgame, the tireless Maxey was mad at himself for missing three free throws. Rivers suggested that Maxey should be getting to the line more — carefully saying that the officials need to give the young guard calls when defenders “ride him” on drives.
James Harden: 24 points (8 of 18, 3 of 8 from three), 10 assists, five rebounds
It wasn’t Harden’s greatest game, but he was mostly fine Wednesday. He was clearly frustrated by the officiating, at one point receiving a technical believing Rui Hachimura got him on the hand on a three.
Harden seemed to miss Melton on offense. Melton was excellent Monday night in D.C. on the short roll and operating from the foul line area when Harden was doubled. Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton struggled to fill that role. P.J. Tucker’s foul trouble hurt as well after the duo’s two-man game was so effective Monday.
Tobias Harris: 16 points (6 of 12, 4 of 5 from three), nine rebounds, four assists
For the most part Harris has done his job this season. Coming into the night, he’d taken 5.5 threes a game and made over 40 percent of them. On Wednesday he hoisted up five more triples and upped that percentage. One of his most encouraging makes came on a P.J. Tucker pindown screen. Harris becoming a movement shooter at times could only help the Sixers’ offense.
There was a stretch where the Sixers fed Harris in the post and he did well when he had mismatches on the block. That’s where Harris is going to get his offense — open threes, quick decisions on attacking closeouts and the occasional post up when he has a clear strength advantage.
Who is Wednesday’s Bell Ringer against the Wizards?
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