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Sixers Bell Ringer: Offensive clunker for tired and Harden-less Sixers in South Beach

Not the fun matchup this could have been

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 26
Tyrese Maxey: 14
Seth Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 4
Andre Drummond: 3
James Harden: 2
Matisse Thybulle: 2
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
Paul Millsap: 1

Considering the Sixers were on the road having played the night before, and facing the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat, it wasn’t the worst effort tonight. They fought back from down 20 to within two points late in the third quarter. However, they clearly had some extremely tired legs, shooting just 7-of-41 (17.1 percent) from behind the arc, and had nothing left in the tank when the Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter for the 99-82 victory. Fortunately, this game didn’t really count anyway, as James Harden was sitting out as part of his hamstring management. Let’s get to Bell Ringer.

Tyrese Maxey: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Joseph Guzy/NBAE via Getty Images

Although he was a team-worst minus-22, Maxey was the only Sixer to shoot the ball well from the floor, finishing 7-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-6 from three. The positive takeaway from this game for Sixers fans is that Tyrese couldn’t be more confident in his shot right now. He’s freelancing out of any given play and hoisting them up with only the tiniest sliver of space. Maxey has been en fuego coming out of the All-Star break. If this level of shooting is anywhere near the new normal for the second-year guard, I don’t know how defenses can defend him when coupled with his speed getting to the rim. I would have liked to see more “point guard” work from Maxey tonight in Harden’s absence, but it’s not like his teammates were hitting shots when he was feeding them. He did have a really bad turnover late in the fourth to help Miami ice the game. Oh well, it was still a strong highlight night for the team’s rising star.

Paul Millsap: 4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Joseph Guzy/NBAE via Getty Images

You know it was a rough team performance when I’m highlighting the backup center who played nine minutes. Paul Millsap has not exactly been embraced by the Sixers’ fanbase, because it frankly doesn’t seem like he should be a rotation guy for a title hopeful at this point of his career. But credit given where credit is due. Millsap was pretty good out there tonight, fighting hard on the glass and creating a couple second-chance opportunities. He played solid, physical defense and was one of the only Sixers out there playing with any sort of juice. My belief is the Sixers are engaging in this long-form comedy bit where they bring in a new center every other week who we all write about as if he’s the new backup, but Doc Rivers will keep running Millsap out on the court.

Joel Embiid: 22 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Joseph Guzy/NBAE via Getty Images

You could make the argument Joel needed this load management night more than Harden. He looked exhausted and had no lift on any of his jump shots (0-of-6 from downtown, 4-of-15 from the field overall). He faced double teams nearly all the time, sometimes triple teams, and didn’t make the quick, sharp decisions we’ve come to expect from him this season. Still, Embiid led the team in scoring and found a way to contribute by going 14-of-14 from the foul line. His inclusion here is more of a nod to his battling and playing 36 minutes in a back-to-back, something that was completely unheard of for him a few years ago. He didn’t want his team to just roll over entirely against the only team ahead of them in the standings, so he went out and gave an honest effort. But, for real, Doc, why do you have Joel out there late in the fourth quarter in a game that’s very much decided? Hopefully, he looks more well-rested by Monday.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in Saturday’s loss to Miami?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (342 votes)
  • 11%
    Paul Millsap
    (77 votes)
  • 34%
    Joel Embiid
    (225 votes)
644 votes total Vote Now