Pros and Cons: Sixers vs. Kings
Three Normal Things
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
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#1: Tobias and the reserves are playoff-ready
Doc Rivers often employs an all-bench lineup early in the second and fourth quarters. But before that, he’ll usually trot out a lineup of four reserves plus Tobias Harris, which are the ones I would imagine we’ll see in the playoffs when Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are off the floor.
With the roster nearly at full health tonight, we saw a glimpse of how well-constructed those Tobias-centric lineups can be, particularly thanks to the addition of another reliable ball-handler in George Hill.
Surrounding Harris and Hill in most bench lineups can be, let’s say, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Dwight Howard.
I don’t know about you, but Hill-Milton-Thybulle-Harris-Howard sounds good to me.
#2: Seth Curry in a better frame of mind
Curry is without question the most talented shooter on the Sixers roster. In fact, he’s one of the most gifted shooters of all time. But, as I’ve written about before, I have found Danny Green to be the more valuable shooter thanks to his high release-point and lightning-quick trigger.
In order to become as valuable as he is skilled, Curry needs to adopt a mindset similar to Green’s: get threes up early and often, even when there’s a contest. Curry tends to be goaded by opposing defenders into pump-faking, putting the ball on the floor and ultimately getting less efficient looks.
We’re far from saying Seth’s mentality is going to be much different long-term, but Curry was happily shooting (and scoring) from beyond the arc, even when there were hands in his face. By my count, he was only run off the three-point line once. If Curry can continue to improve his quickness and versatility as a shooter, it can make this Sixers starting unit even more dangerous than they already are.
#3: Tyrese Maxey makes the most of his minutes
Maxey has been a pleasant surprise of late, giving the bench unit some useful offensive contributions during the absence of Ben Simmons. Instead of ousting the stretch four as a whole from the rotation, Rivers chose to remove Maxey.
But even in “garbage time,” Maxey continued to impress, primarily as a driver where he does his best work, but also as a passer and pull-up shooting. Rivers said in his pregame media availability that he believes Maxey is prepared for a playoff environment. With the way Maxey is commanding the offense right now, it’s hard to disagree.