Tyrese Maxey scores 44 points on Friday night against the Raptors on Friday night. That’s all you really have to know. With Joel Embiid out for the 76ers, Tyrese Maxey went off and pretty much destroyed the Raptors by halftime. As mentioned before, speed kills and Tyrese Maxey made the Raptors road kill. It was pretty ugly. So here are my pros and cons for the game.
Tyrese Maxey Scores 44 Points – Pros
Pascal Siakam Stays Consistent – Another great game for Siakam who scored 26 points, had 10 rebounds and six assists. He has taken his game up another notch and it is showing. Even when teams are doubling or tripling him, he makes his impact felt on the court. Without him this year, the Raptors season might look pretty ugly. This loss was not on him at all!
OG Anunoby Played Inspired Basketball on both ends – OG had 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals and two assists and a block and played some good defense on a night where the Raptors defense was lacking. He was one of the main players that sparked a Raptors run to bring the game within six points in the third quarter. He hustled, he ran and defended hard. No complaints from him at all. If he can do this regularly, that would help the Raptors immensely.
Tyrese Maxey Scores 44 Points – Cons
Fred Van Fleet was Horrendous – Not sure if he has a nagging injury but that was the worst game I have ever seen him play. Maxey attacked him with no mercy and was unstoppable. Fred Van Fleet’s offense was no better as he went 0 for 11 from the field and scored one point! Philadelphia’s plan without Embiid was to attack the Raptors on the perimeter with Maxey’s speed. It opened up the game for them. As witnessed in last season’s playoffs, Maxey destroyed Van Fleet and he did it again. This seemed to really affect Fred’s game as he could not do really anything to help his team. It got to the point where other Philadelphia players were hunting him down on defense. It was a rough game for him.
NIck Nurse, What Are You Doing? – In last year’s playoffs against the 76ers, Tyrese Maxey was the reason that the Raptors were down three games to zero. Yes Joel Embiid was scoring and making plays but it was Maxey who was setting the tone with his speed and killing the Raptors. It was not until the Raptors went to their big lineup after Fred was injured that they were able to slow down Maxey and get back into the series and ultimately take it to six games.
So why am I mentioning this? Because after the first few drives from Maxey, it was obvious that you needed to change your defensive scheme. There was no way that Fred Van Fleet or even Gary Trent would be able to stop Maxey. You needed to make a change before he got really hot. Unfortunately, no real changes were made and the Raptors lost. Nick Nurse should have realized that from last year’s playoffs, that Maxey is the one you gameplan for. He is more dangerous than James Harden because his speed does so much damage to the Raptors. If you can keep him in check, your chances of winning are increased, even with Embiid. But if he has a big night, the Raptors are in big trouble. Nick Nurse has to recognize this better as speed from the perimeter is the Raptors Kryptonite.
Hopefully Fred Van Fleet is not injured and he comes back tonight with a better effort. Also, hopefully Nick Nurse learns from this and realizes that quick point guards who can shoot and pass are dangerous for this team and you have to scheme for them. If you don’t, they will tear your defense to shreds. Unfortunately, Tyrese Maxey has provided other teams the perfect blue print for this. Hopefully, Nick Nurse and the Raptors can adjust or this could be a long season.
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