We’ve reached the dullest part of the NBA offseason. The Sixers have made their main free agency signings and James Harden’s new contract is finalized at long last. As you might well be missing watching the NBA by now, it seems like a good time to bring back the Sixers Film Fix series. Each episode will feature a few videos highlighting specific topics.
Thanks to James Harden taking such a significant pay cut after opting out of his $47.4 million player option, the Sixers were able to make some valuable free agent signings this summer. One of them being Danuel House Jr., a 6-foot-6 wing who gives them a much-needed mix of shooting and defense.
House upped his game to end last season with the Jazz and played quality defense. He frequently took on top assignments, held his own when switching across forwards and some guards, and shifted his feet pretty well on the ball to show his mobility and length to contest drives and jumpers. Along with his decent three-point shooting, touch of ability attacking closeouts and making extra passes, and knowledge playing off James Harden from their Rockets days, House will help the Sixers’ wing rotation at both ends of the floor. He can contribute as part of their playoff rotation as well, which is quite good value to find in a player making $8.5 million over two years.
The video below gives you some examples of what House can do defensively, but if you want more, you can read my recent piece breaking down his game in more detail.
Here are a few Danuel House Jr. defensive highlights.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) July 19, 2022
He was a really solid defender for the Jazz last season. Pretty good lateral quickness, can switch across forwards and some guards, and has length to contest on the ball. He'll fit well with what Philly's wing rotation needs. pic.twitter.com/1KURMyVlr6
Next, let’s look back at one of everyone’s favorite Sixers: Tyrese Maxey.
For Maxey, a player whose energy and work ethic seems to know no bounds, it’s no surprise he made a serious leap last season. He made improvements throughout the year, from honing a legitimately dangerous pull-up three, to upping his free throw attempts, to being a terrific off-ball scoring threat in the Sixers’ revamped offense alongside James Harden.
Maxey’s rise continued in the playoffs. In his first postseason in a significant, starting role, he majorly stepped up — whether he was creating on the ball to energize the Sixers’ downhill attack, or firing triples and burning closeouts in off-ball situations next to Harden and Joel Embiid.
He was particularly electric in the first round against the Raptors. He exploded from the start, going off for a new playoff career-high in Game 1 with 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting (5-of-8 from three).
Tyrese Maxey's first playoff series as a starter (round one this year against the Raptors):— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) July 29, 2022
4.8 assists (1.7 turnovers)
51.1/40.5/95 shooting splits
63.5 TS% pic.twitter.com/JQoET5Lbxl
Maxey wasn’t done there. While he cooled off overall against Miami’s mean defense and had a couple of less involved, less efficient games to end the series, Maxey still brought his typical spirit and averaged 20.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and three assists in the second round with 45.6/34.4/93.3 shooting splits.
You couldn’t ask for much more from a 21-year-old guard, who’s facing two strong teams and just starting to learn postseason basketball.
Tyrese Maxey's overall playoff stats last season:— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) July 30, 2022
3.9 assists (1.8 turnovers)
48.4/37.7/94 shooting splits
He had such an impressive playoff run for his first postseason in a large, starting role. pic.twitter.com/Cbufyp3GS2
It’s hard to imagine Maxey won’t improve yet again in his third season. As he continues another summer of hard work developing his game, and benefits from more time spent with Harden to build even stronger chemistry, Maxey should be set for yet another impressive year — and likely another leap of some kind — in 2022-23.
If there are any Sixer-specific things you’d like to be featured in future episodes of Sixers Film Fix, let me know in the comments!