Without Joel Embiid (illness) and James Harden (strained foot tendon), the Philadelphia 76ers still had ample opportunity to defeat the New York Knicks Friday night, leading 91-81 with under seven minutes remaining in the game. Alas, the Knicks went on a 19-5 run to turn the tide and the Sixers ultimately fell, 106-104, to drop to 4-6 on the season.
In the latest episode of the Talking About Podcast, Sean Kennedy and David Early cover what went wrong for the Sixers, and also some of what we saw as encouraging signs.
It was a bit of both for Tyrese Maxey, who wasn’t able to celebrate his 22nd birthday with a victory. Maxey scored a game-high 31 points and tallied a season-high seven assists, but also shot just 10-of-29 from the field. How much do we chalk this up as just an off shooting night, and how much concern is there that Maxey’s efficiency will suffer without Harden in the lineup over the next month?
De’Anthony Melton surprised with nine assists and caused his usual defensive havoc with two steals and two blocks, but with a 4-of-18 night from the field, do we want to see him featured this much on the offensive end?
On the flip side, Tobias Harris had an efficient scoring night, going 9-of-15 from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range, for 23 points. He has perfectly blended into the catch-and-shoot, off-ball role drilled into him since James Harden’s arrival, but with The Beard’s absence (and on a night when Joel was also unavailable), is it possible to toggle into even more of the Tobias Harris Classic mindset?
Finally, it wouldn’t be a Sixers game without discussing Doc Rivers and the center rotation. Montrezl Harrell did his thing tonight, but Paul Reed looked to be a real game-changer with his defensive activity. Yet, it was Harrell getting 29 minutes and Reed only 18. Here’s a short excerpt from our discussion on the pod:
Dave: “Listening to the Knicks broadcast here in New York, and Clyde Frazier was like, ‘Paul Reed is just dominating the paint. He’s getting these blocks. He’s getting offensive rebounds. He’s in the passing lanes.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, someone’s seeing this!’
Sean: “Does Clyde want a coaching gig?”
You only have one World Series off night and we appreciate you spending it with us. Hopefully the stars get healthy and better days are ahead for these Sixers.
In the meantime, be sure to listen to the full episode of the Talking About Podcast below:
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