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Sixers Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey’s ascendance to stardom rages on & Philly’s Big 3 stays undefeated

Cleveland Cavaliers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 26

Tyrese Maxey: 13

Seth Curry: 8

Tobias Harris: 4

Andre Drummond: 3

James Harden: 2

Matisse Thybulle: 2

Furkan Korkmaz: 1

Charles Bassey: 1

Paul Millsap: 1

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into this one having lost 5 of their last 6, and the Sixers won 6 of their last 7. Philly had also won four in a row, including all three games of the James Harden era. There really does seem to be a Big Three of Harden, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey developing here.

But this Cavaliers team provided the toughest test of the Sixers-Harden era yet. They’re a talented and well-coached group and Darius Garland is just awesome. Jarrett Allen is a beast. Evan Mobley didn’t play like one here, but he is a star in the making. Really good things are happening in Cleveland. And great things are happening in Philly.

Happy Friday Sixers fans let’s select a bell ringer.

Joel Embiid: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals

This was an uncharacteristic game for Joel Embiid in that he didn’t present the typical fortress in the paint he so often does. The final score was 125-119 so you can tell Cleveland had no trouble getting buckets. But a 71 point first half for the visitors was really hard to watch.

But what can you say. Even in a down night this season, the big fella keeps on coming. A steal here, a couple crisp dimes in crunch time there, this is a man possessed and he makes so many winning plays in each facet of the game.

One of my favorite moments in this one, was one of Maxey’s back-to-back triples. You could tell Embiid was thinking about posting up. I think in the past, he would have done so and demanded the ball. But instead he came out and set a screen for Tyrese who stuck the pull up from distance. A very selfless and mature winning play by The Process. Love to see him trusting his guys and his guys stepping up in turn.

In a crucial moment Embiid sized up Mobley, blew right by him, than paused to draw a foul. He drained two huge freebies making it a 6 point game. Some well-earned MVP chants were audible on the telecast.

On the subsequent possession he hit a one legged Dirk-style fade and got the shooter’s roll. Mobley is a fierce prospect but Joel gave him some welcome-to-the-big-league buckets in this one.

Shake Milton: 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 of 3 from distance

The last time Shake had double-digit point was back on Dec. 16th. A back injury interrupted his season so it’s potentially key if he can become a reliable rotation player moving forwards. When the Sixers were on the ropes in the second quarter, it was Savior Shake who helped spark a run. It was great to see the SMU product out there and making big plays.

Georges Niang was terrific as well. Shout outs to Minivan who had 17 points and hit an unconscious 5 of 8 from three earning himself closing minutes. Let’s hope we see some more of Niang with the stars in end of game situations.

James Harden: 25 points, 11 assists, 3 rebounds, 11 of 12 from the line

James Harden had a quiet start. There was a lack of energy in this one at the jump. You could sort of feel it in players like Embiid and Harden, the team’s best two players:

But by the end his box score was full. And he made a bunch of monster plays down the stretch.

Harden hit a gorgeous floater, forcing the Cavs to trade buckets without gaining on Philly. Some yin to Maxey’s speedy yang, he has such good slow-game. He plays under control where he can blow by his man, then come to a screeching halt moments later cutting off the dude he just dusted. Then he waits for something to develop. If nobody springs open, it’s a floater. His final read is one he’s knocked down for years now.

I hate to say it but too many of Harden’s possessions lead to a kick out to an open Tobias Harris whose reluctance to shoot the 3 lets the defense recover. They need to figure that out. Harden could have had even more dimes if it was maybe Danny Green in that corner instead of Harris.

Or whoever wins this quiet tourney:

Tyrese Maxey: 33 points, 5 assists, 2 steals, 4 rebounds, 5 of 6 from 3, 8 of 9 from the line

The Sixers were down by 21, then climbed all the way back into this one, only to fall back down by double-digits again. But in the third quarter, Tyrese Maxey single-handedly breathed life into the entire arena.

At one point in the second half, Harden asked the fans to get into it and they didn’t seem to oblige him. Alaa Abdelnaby made the point on the broadcast that the Sixers fans were basically telling James c’mon give us more to cheer about.

Well It was Maxey who finally whipped the whole jawn into a frenzy. He was awesome.

Maxey drained back-to-back triples, then got out to finish on the break. He hit floaters. He hit step backs. It’s not just our collective delusion and back court deprivation as Sixers fans talking here, it’s not all those years starved for triple-threat players. It truly appears that he’s simply blossoming into a star before our eyes. If the All-Star game was decided between All-Star Break and the playoffs, he would be looking like a shoo in right now.

They don’t win this game tonight without him playing not good but great. Wow.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer vs. Cavs?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Joel Embiid
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    James Harden
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    Shake Milton
    (32 votes)
  • 97%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (2709 votes)
2766 votes total Vote Now