Playoff Bell Ringer standings:
Joel Embiid - 2
Tobias Harris - 2
Tyrese Maxey - 1
James Harden - 1
I have an innovative phrase to describe Game 1 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat: It was a tale of two halves. No need to credit me, just use it as you deem fit. After entering intermission with a 51-50 lead, the Sixers saw their offense dry up and the defense reveal cracks, while surrendering a couple lengthy runs en route to a 106-92 defeat. Tobias Harris was excellent. Tyrese Maxey and James Harden had flashes, but were part of the second-half struggles. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Tobias Harris: 27 points, six rebounds, one assist, one block
Fresh off a fantastic six-game series against the Toronto Raptors, Harris maintained his stellar play. He applied his 6-foot-7 frame as a driver to create space for short midrange pull-ups and was Philadelphia’s best late-clock option. Miami’s switch-heavy defense played into his hands, and he exploited mismatches with his blend of physicality and mobility. Despite some lapses off the ball defensively, he denied handoffs, stonewalled drives and battled inside. He’s just bringing it every night and has found his stride.
Tyrese Maxey: 19 points, two assists
While a 6-of-15 shooting line for 19 points isn’t the rosiest of outings, Maxey’s downhill speed, particularly in the open floor, complemented Harris’ methodical, bruising style. He converted some tough buckets through contact, thrived on the break, and applied impactful pressure defensively, especially in the first half. Conversely, he missed a few passing reads and rushed some outside jumpers. Maxey was solid in Game 1, but Philadelphia will need more to snag a win without Joel Embiid on Wednesday.
James Harden: 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists
Harden tallied 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting in the first half, burying a couple triples and impressively scoring through contact on drives. He also linked up with Paul Reed for some snazzy deliveries out of the pick-and-roll. But after the break, he struggled to the tune of four points on 1-of-4 shooting. Miami closed down driving lanes and Harden’s passive tendencies reared their head. Much like Maxey, Harden was solid, but not to the level necessary without their superstar center in the fold.
Who is Monday’s Game 1 Bell Ringer?
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