2023 Sixer of the Week Award Winners:
James Harden - 1
The Sixers may be second in the minds of many Philadelphia sports fans at the moment, but they’re also in sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. They had a perfect 4-0 week to finish off a flawless 5-0 trip to the West Coast. After a one-point win over the Lakers, the Sixers secured 10-point victories over the Clippers and Blazers, before coming back from down 21 points to win by two over the Kings. Philadelphia now stands at 30-16, 4.5 games back of Boston and a full game up over Milwaukee. Let’s look at this week’s top performers.
Embiid and Harden sat out the final game of the road trip in Sacramento, allowing them five full days of rest while enjoying some J Harden wines and watching the Eagles’ 38-7 beatdown of the Giants. Before that DNP though, Joel was dominant. He put up 35 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakers, including the game-winning jumper in the final minute. Then, he abused the Clippers to the tune of 41 points and nine rebounds in 33 minutes, before finishing off his week with a casual 32 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks in Portland. He’s now third on the MVP Ladder, but first in our hearts. And as always, he brought the sauce:
Final line (3 games): 36.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks
First off, hats off to Tyrese for being a team-first guy and only showing the mildest of disappointment about the whole sixth man thing. The young man was getting potential All-Star buzz after an offseason of hype and tremendous start to the season, and is going to be entering extension talks this summer. But Maxey is a “we, not me” person, and he took to the bench role swimmingly. He scored the team’s first 11 points in the fourth quarter against the Clippers, pulling the Sixers back into the lead in a game that had slipped away from them. Then, getting the starting position back with Harden (and Embiid) sitting against the Kings, Maxey went into full star mode, tallying 32 points and six assists to lead the comeback. Can we stop even discussing hypothetical trades where the Sixers send out Maxey for a disgruntled star and just enjoy having this guy for the next decade?
Final line: 21.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists
A steady, workmanlike week from Tobias, who recorded 15 points and three blocks in the win over the Lakers, and 17 points and six assists against the Kings. His top outing came against the Clippers, however, when he was halfway to a quadruple-double with his first career “quad-five”: 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Moreover, the Bo Cruz-Kermit Wilts reunion this week was a good reminder that Tobias did a solid acting job in 2022’s Hustle. Let’s give another tip of the cap to him for that this week.
Final line: 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals
Who is the Sixer of the Week for this suddenly second-place squad?
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