Evenings on The Fanatic

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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 24: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Wells Fargo Center on October 24, 2022 in Philadelphia,

The Philadelphia 76ers improved to 4-4 on the season after a 118-111 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night. Six players scored in double-figures, including all five starters. The Sixers are now on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 0-3. Here are a few thoughts about the game: 

  • Tyrese Maxey continues to show why his star shines so bright. The third-year guard finished with 28 points on the evening, dropping 26 in quarters two through four. Maxey only made two of his six three-point attempts and that was fine because he made some spectacular plays in the paint against Washington’s 7’3 center Kristaps Porzingis. Reverse layups using the rim as a protector against Porzingis, speed and angles to get to his sweet spot for shot attempts, plus – a few fast break buckets. Another spectacular showing.
  • James Harden came to play. With All-Star Joel Embiid out of the lineup due to a non-Covid illness, his fellow All-Star really set the tone with the type of night it would be for the starting point guard. 14 points and six assists in the opening frame and could’ve possibly had more if not for two missed open three-pointers and one free throw off the mark. The Sixers won the first quarter, 30-28. It didn’t stop there. Harden found his teammates for 17 dimes on the evening – tying a career-high in that category. He also added 23 points and seven boards.
  • P.J. Tucker started in the middle for Embiid and had arguably his best offensive night as a Sixer. Like Harden, the veteran forward had a strong opening quarter scoring nine points after being set up by his teammates. He has a knack for finding some soft spots in the defense and getting his push shot off, making them at a decent rate. We haven’t seen it as much early this season, but he looked very comfortable on Monday night in Washington. His numbers never tell the true story of his impact on the game, but it’s encouraging to see his shot falling as he picks his spots for his shots. Tucker poured in 13 on 6 for 8 shooting, connecting on one of his three tries from beyond.
  • De’Anthony Melton is so fun to watch as a two-way player. So, fun. 16 points (7-10 FG, 2-4 3FG), two rebounds, one assist, two steals, and a bunch of deflections that won’t show up on paper. His value continues to show as each game passes.

Next up for Philadelphia will be the same Washington team on Wednesday for the back end of a home-and-home series. This also starts a three-game homestand with the Wizards, New York Knicks on Friday, and wrap things up with the Phoenix Suns next Monday. 

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