Sixers: 3 takeaways from Game 5 embarrassment vs. Heat

Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Sixers-Heat Game 5 takeaways: Highs and lows of Maxey

We’ve already gotten several signature Tyrese Maxey moments in these playoffs. Very few players can match Maxey’s pure entertainment value when he gets going. Unfortunately, for every great Maxey game, there has been a more troublesome Maxey game. He’s still 21 years old, and he still has a long way to go.

Game 5 was probably Maxey’s worst performance to date. He’s not at fault, really — none of his teammates showed up either — but Maxey was easily the weakest link in the “Big Four.” Miami targeted him relentlessly on defense to great effect, and Maxey just looked lost on offense. If the Kentucky product isn’t lighting the world on fire with his scoring, we must again ask ourselves: what else is he providing?

In time, Maxey will grow as a facilitator and lead ball-handler. He will get better at manipulating the defense and leveraging his scoring threat to benefit teammates. He will become a more balanced offensive force with more film study and more reps. He will also get more consistent. The Sixers cannot survive these extended cold spells where Maxey simply chooses not to shoot.

Maxey finished Game 5 with nine points on 2-of-10 shooting (1-of-4 from deep). He gave the Sixers nothing good. Maxey is engineered to benefit from the defensive attention drawn by Embiid and Harden, but he has to cash in every night — not every other night. And, the defense is a problem. Butler is torturing Maxey on switches. The Sixers have to hide him better. Keep him on smaller guards and keep him active in passing lanes, rather than leaving him isolated on bigger, stronger scorers.

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