The Sixers did what they had to do and took care of business. We live to see another day.
A 104-99 victory propelled Philadelphia in Game 6 on the Hawks home floor. The 76ers walked into the game with frankly zero momentum after the shocking game 5 and game 4 losses and still found a way to win. Even with the struggles of star players, we showed resiliency. The focus turns to protecting home court for game 7.
Tyrese Maxey is the Future.
Once we drafted this kid, I knew he was special. I did not see him making an impact for us during the playoffs however. This is one of the most pleasant surprises from any rookie in this years playoffs.
We played a rookie 29 minutes in a playoff elimination game and he delivered. In his 29 minutes, he had 16 points while providing a much needed spark of energy. He also was clutch down the stretch. He made two huge three pointers, but one was called back due to a Dwight foul. Yes, of course I would've loved the points, but those two shots told me he was ready for the moment. Also, knocking down 2 free throws in the 4th quarter when we needed it the most was a very refreshing sight to see.
I think we see 30+ minutes out of Maxey in game 7. He has shown absolutely zero reason for it not to happen, in fact he has given you every reason to trust his ability in these moments. It is only a matter of time before Maxey is a star in this league, we are witnessing something special this playoff series.
Seth Curry is God.
It still baffles me that all it took was Josh Richardson to get Seth. That is robbery.
This series Seth has shown why I believe we will become a huge piece of this Sixers team for years to come. He has grown so much as a scorer just since the beginning of the season, it is astonishing. He is no longer just a shooter, he is an entire threat from anywhere offensively.
Seth was 6 of 9 from behind the arc last night, that is 67% from deep. He kept his hot scoring streak ending the game with 24, tying the most of any 76er player. Seth plays such a pivotal role for this team without Danny Green and he has been nothing short of spectacular.
Tobias finally showed up.
Coming into this game, we all knew Tobi had to play great on offense in order to walk out with a win. His scoring comes with a lot of great success, but when he disappears, failure is almost inevitable.
Tobias was no longer a friendly ghost out there. Even though he got off to a slow start I was very impressed with the effort Tobi had scoring the ball. Having 24 points on 4 of 4 from the line was great. Tobias became someone who we could rely on again.
Something may be wrong with Joel.
We all know Joel Embiid is the heart and soul of this team. He is our MVP and he has always been someone we can count on. But, Joel still playing with the lingering knee injury does seem to be effecting him down the stretch of games.
He did not look like himself last night. His shot selection was uncharacteristically bad all night long. He never got into the groove of things, never went on a hot streak we know he is capable of going on.
With that being said, Joel was still our 3rd leading scorer with 22 points and he also grabbed 13 rebounds. The most eye popping stat is the free throw attempts. He only shot 4 free throws. That is somewhat unheard of from Joel this season. This is a guy who has been averaging 14 attempts through this season and didn't even make a trip to the free throw line until the 4th quarter??? It just does not add up. The officiating was way too lenient towards Trae Young to let Embiid only take 4 foul shots.
Is Ben Simmons .... a role player?
Like most of you, I am fed up with Ben Simmons. I am usually one to come to his defense after bad games, but that is no longer. The fact that we have to put a max contract player on the bench because of how bad his free throw shooting is, sucks. The fact he can't guard Trae Young without getting into foul trouble, sucks.
This is a player who was hyped up to be one of the brightest stars ever the play the sport of basketball. This is a player who has self-proclaimed himself a star. This is a player who said he was Defensive Player of the Year multiple times. This is a player who made a documentary about himself when he was 18 years old.
Ben Simmons' arrogance just makes this situation worse. I am flat out embarrassed that I have to watch my star player sit on the bench because we can't trust him to make simple free throws. Ben has showed no will to improve his game in the offseason and it is catching up with him.
We finally got some much needed production, but it was majority Tyrese Maxey.
Matisse Thubulle was the only player for the 76ers to play at least 5 minutes and record 0 points. And quite frankly, I wasn't too impressed with his defense either. Yes, he had some great steals, but he struggled way too much trying to contain Trae Young.
George Hill finally showed a little bit of life. He actually made a slight impact on the game by connecting on one singular 3 pointer.
Dwight Howard and Shake Milton both did not have amazing games by any means and will be looking to bounce back in game 7.
Can Trae Young keep it up?
Yes. Yes he can. And he will.
Trae has shown that he is built for moments like these and it will be very hard just to slow him down. Slowing down players like Bogdanovic, Gallinari, Huerter, Williams, ect. will be more impactful in terms of winning game 7.
One flaw from Trae last night was his efficiency. He has 34 points, but on 13 of 34 from behind the floor. If Trae has another shooting night like that, I like our chances at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Hawks and Sixers will meet up one final time tomorrow night at 8 pm on TNT. You can listen to the game on 97.5 the Fanatic and expect extensive post game analysis, right here on Philly Sports Today.