It might be premature to declare, but I’m going to be the bold one and write it down. The Philadelphia 76ers potentially have a new dynamic duo in Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Despite, Ben Simmons still on the roster, it’s clear it’s he’s no longer a part of the future.
With that in mind, the duo of Maxey and Embiid has seen mixed results. Embiid is an MVP level player when he’s healthy and Maxey has shown legit flashes of being a future all-star but usually when he’s not playing with Embiid. The question is how does head coach Doc Rivers get the best out of both of them at the same time?
What is the potential of Embiid and Maxey as the Sixers’ best duo?
Before getting into what they can be, it’s important to see what they currently are on offense. Embiid and Maxey have a plus/minus score of plus-3.1 which is third best among any duo on the Sixers. They have an offensive rating of 108.1, which isn’t near the top of the Sixers’ respective duos. All these stats were provided by NBA.com.
When both are in the starting five, the Sixers have a record of 11-6. When Embiid is out of the line and Maxey is by himself, the 76ers are 3-8. When Maxey is out of the lineup and Embiid is in Philly has a record of 1-1. It’s clear that the Sixers are a pretty good team when both are avialable.
This year, Embiid is averaging, 24.3 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks, while making 44.5 percent of his field goals and 36.9 percent of his 3-pointers. Embiid hasn’t been healthy this season so his numbers are down. Still, he’s having to create a lot more of his shots than in years past so in that regard, Maxey, along with the rest of the team, has do a better job getting Embiid easy baskets.
Maxey took a big step in his second season. Thus far, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 assists, and 1.4 turnovers, while shooting 48.0 percent on his shots from the floor and 37.1 percent on his shots from behind the arc. It should be noted he defers a lot when Embiid isn’t in the lineup.
In the first nine games that Embiid missed this year, Maxey had averaged 23.7 points and 4.6 assists, while converting 48.8 percent form the field and 42.1 percent from deep. In order for Maxey to reach that level of play with Embiid, Rivers will have to run some more pick-and-rolls with the two duo, but also Maxey has to learn how to be agressive with Embiid on the court.
It’s a fine balance for both players to learn how to play eachother, but it’s not impossible. If both can play to an All-Star level for the rest of this season, the Sixers will be in good shape entering the postseason.