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Eight in a row: Embiid and Maxey lead Sixers in blowout of Pacers: Likes and dislikes

Eight in a row: Embiid and Maxey lead Sixers in blowout of Pacers: Likes and dislikes

Tyrese Maxey lines up a corner three against the Pacers

The Sixers (47-22) visited the Indiana Pacers (32-38) on Saturday. Philadelphia wanted to win its eighth game in a row. Indiana wanted to tie the Bulls for the final spot in the eastern conference play-in tournament with a win. Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey combined for 62 points and 14 assists to lead the Sixers past the Pacers, 141-121.

Before we get to what I saw, some notes.

Contextual Notes

The Sixers were without the services of James Harden, who had a maintenance night as part of his recovery from a right foot injury.

PJ Tucker missed the game with a sore left ankle.

Louis King and Mac McClung are on Two-Way G-League assignments with the Delaware Blue Coats and were out.

Doc Rivers started Maxey, Deโ€™Anthony Melton, Danuel House Jr., Tobias Harris, and Embiid.

The Pacers were without the services of Tyrese Haliburton, who has a sprained right ankle.

Bennedict Mathurin missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Chris Duarte was out with a sore left ankle.

Kendall Brown has a stress fracture in his right tibia and was unavailable.ย 

Rick Carlisle started Andrew Nembhard, Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Jordan Nwora, and Myles Turner.

Likes

When you see Embiid dominate without a bead of sweat dripping off his face so often, snapping countless necks with the strength of his right hand by itself, itโ€™s at the point where you wonder if something is wrong when he doesnโ€™t apply his full capacity. Heโ€™s made an effort to dominate from tip-off to final buzzer since the all-star break. That consistent engagement and effort has not only thrust him back into the MVP conversation, but itโ€™s brought him to the front of the debate. Yet, he didnโ€™t seem interested in scoring so much in his opening stint of this game.

It wasnโ€™t so much that he wasnโ€™t engaged, fully aware that every night is an opportunity to stabilize or build on his MVP candidacy. Rather, his approach was different. The touches that have typically been shots were passes. It wasnโ€™t that he was passive; Embiid wasnโ€™t turning down open looks. But, he wasnโ€™t asserting himself in ways that those who watch him frequently know he can. But, I didnโ€™t mind his approach because he wasnโ€™t making mistakes on offense.

Embiid read double-teams and shaders quite well, firing the ball across the court to hit open teammates. He saw the whole court, diming Harris in the post, leveraging his gravity to create a little…

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