2023 Sixer of the Week Award Winners:
Joel Embiid - 7
James Harden - 2
Mac McClung - 1
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Since we last met, the Sixers sandwiched a couple wins against beatable opponents in-between losses to Joel Embiid’s primary MVP competition. The Hospital Sixers had a brief reappearance in Denver with Embiid and James Harden both sidelined, but a late comeback effort fell short in a loss to Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Philadelphia then won a pair of games at home against the spiraling Mavericks and the Raptors, before getting waxed in Milwaukee by the first-place Bucks. With the Sixers essentially locked into the third seed, there’s not much to play for over these final four games of the regular season. Let’s just hope everyone gets to the playoffs healthy (or at least as healthy as possible). For now, here’s who stood out over the past week.
Tyrese Maxey: 23.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 turnovers
With the stars ailing, Mad Max has often been the most joyous part of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball viewing experience of late. Tyrese did his best to drag that shorthanded Sixers to the upset over the Nuggets, scoring 20 of his team-high 29 points in the second quarter to keep the Sixers hanging around. He then hit four threes against Dallas for 22 points, before having a quiet, but efficient night with 13 points and six assists against Toronto. The true highlight of the week, though, was seeing Maxey scorch the nets against the Bucks, when he shot 6-of-7 from downtown for 29 points. Tyrese has been awesome against the Bucks this season; his speed really seems to be a good counter to the size and length at Milwaukee’s disposal. Maxey is up to 43.6 percent on the season from three-point range on over six attempts per game. Keep letting ‘em fly!
Maxey with his SIXTH three-pointer of the night. pic.twitter.com/YEjRi2CDM7— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 3, 2023
Joel Embiid: 26.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 3.3 turnovers
It’s a testament to Joel’s greatness that 26, 10, and 3 comes out of what any reasonable watcher of the sport would consider a very down week for the big man. Missing the Denver game really let the air out of the balloon, no doubt about it. It was obviously wise to play it safe if the calf wasn’t feeling great, but with all the build-up, the Shams article, etc., it was impossible to feel anything but very, very disappointed we were denied one more round of Embiid vs. Jokic. Embiid was a bit rusty in the return against Dallas, but stepped up in the fourth quarter with five straight points to jumpstart the Sixers’ finishing kick, plus a game-sealing block of Luka Doncic. Toronto was another “just OK” outing, and Milwaukee was good, not great. The size and defensive prowess of Brook Lopez gave Joel some difficulty on the interior, but he did a nice job in the mid-range and you loved to see the five assists against just one turnover. Unfortunately, foul trouble limited him from what could have been an even bigger performance and a more memorable finish to that game. The good news is the calf does appear to be improving, with Joel admitting to not pushing too hard on it.
Joel Embiid is just an insane anchor with a dagger block on Luka pic.twitter.com/fpNp3mtISz— Aidan Doc (@AidanDoc_) March 30, 2023
Paul Reed: 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 turnovers
BBall Paul continues to sand off the rough edges as he settles comfortably into the backup center role, even if Doc Rivers still yanks his minutes around more than many of us would like. Reed helped lead the near-comeback effort against the Nuggets with a pristine 7-of-7 line from the floor with three stocks. Dallas saw a classic BBall Paul moment, where he argued with the ref about not getting a foul call after the play kept going and he earned a whistle for a three-point play on the subsequent putback attempt. I honestly think he could get the weekly award for that alone. He kept the strong play going against the Raptors with a nine-point first half while Embiid was in foul trouble, and then was one of the few Sixers to have a pulse in Milwaukee, fighting hard to grab one offensive rebound after another. Perhaps most encouragingly, Reed only averaged 1.0 foul per game this week. He’s definitely learning how to harness that raw energy and play within himself.
Great play by Paul Reed. #TORvsPHI #BrotherlyLove pic.twitter.com/UXbfQktpoF— Get Your Game On (@GetYourGameOnP) April 1, 2023
Who is our Sixer from this 2-2 week?
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