Sixers at Cavs: Small-ball Sixers move to 3-0 in preseason

At least in phrases of document, the Sixers saved an excellent preseason intact Monday evening in Cleveland.

The workforce took care of the Cavs with a 113-97 win and moved to 3-0 in exhibition play.

Tyrese Maxey fell one level shy of a 3rd consecutive 20-point sport, however his 19 nonetheless led the Sixers. 

Jarrett Allen had a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double. Darius Garland registered 17 issues and 7 assists. 

Joel Embiid had a deliberate evening off and Montrezl Harrell sat out with an intercostal pressure, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. Kevin Love and Evan Mobley have been a few of the sidelined Cavs. 

The Sixers’ preseason finale is Wednesday evening in Philadelphia towards the Hornets. Here are observations on their newest win over Cleveland: 

Very great get started with small ball 

Sixers head trainer Doc Rivers promised Friday that P.J. Tucker would play at middle prior to the preseason was once over.

In a throwback to the 2020 Rockets, the 37-year-old began at the 5 Monday. The Sixers went with James Harden, Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris and Tucker to start the sport. 

One advantage of Tucker at middle is placing different giant males outdoor in their defensive convenience zone. Harris couldn’t benefit from having Allen switched on to him early, lacking a three-pointer, however drives should have seemed extra inviting for the Sixers’ guards with the All-Star giant guy some distance from the paint. 


Staying true to his logo, Tucker’s first made box objective as a Sixer was once a nook 3. The shot put the Sixers up 12-5 and was once broad open thank you to Melton pushing the ball exhausting up the ground and deftly kicking it out. Melton (seven issues, six rebounds, 5 assists) additionally sped up the tempo a few mins later when he sprinted down the courtroom following a Tucker defensive rebound and outlet go, ultimately drawing two loose throws. 

When Tucker subbed out, the Sixers led 21-8. That form of good fortune received’t be standard with Embiid off the courtroom, however the 6-foot-5 Tucker has ceaselessly given his groups top of the range middle mins. While the pattern measurement wasn’t massive at all (287 possessions outdoor of rubbish time), the Heat had a plus-4.4 web score with Tucker at the 5 closing 12 months, according to Cleaning the Glass.

The Sixers didn’t have issues as simple all over Tucker’s second-quarter stint, even though he hit every other nook triple, halting a Cleveland run that had reduce the Sixers’ edge to 53-47. Harden (11 issues, six rebounds, 4 assists) drilled a 3 of his personal at the Sixers’ subsequent commute. 

Defensive conversation and actual execution right through the whole thing of possessions will likely be particularly key when the Sixers flip to small ball. Outside of the preliminary switches and blitzes, they’ll ask their gamers to do numerous scrambling and spontaneous rotating when combatants intention to make the Sixers’ protection paintings. Instinctive, rangy defenders akin to Melton are ultimate in the ones lineups, however he’s a unprecedented participant. Less agile Sixers akin to Georges Niang are obviously now not suited as smartly for that defensive taste. 

Melton’s connective passing will have to even be precious in non-Embiid lineups. Surrounded through professional shot creators, he’s usually excellent at getting the ball and figuring out what to do with it — no hesitation required. 

That’s now not to say he’s a world-class passer, however possessions have an actual likelihood to to paintings when the ball unearths Melton overdue in the shot clock. Examples from Monday’s 3rd quarter integrated a baseline force and jump go to Harris in the other nook and a handy guide a rough top post-to-corner feed to Tucker. 

Finally, a couple of Maxey misses 

Within the primary part of the primary quarter, Maxey scored 15 issues on 4-for-6 taking pictures (3 of three from three-point fluctuate). One of the ones misfires was once a mid-range jumper that went in and out. 

He capitalized on defensive breakdowns through the Cavs, however the hot button is that an unguarded Maxey will have to now be a slightly frightening sight. In the Sixers’ opening two video games of the preseason, he’d recorded 41 issues on 15-for-19 taking pictures. 

Maxey’s impossibly sizzling get started ended in the second one duration, although his one hoop in the quarter was once a flashy opposite layup. He assisted a Matisse Thybulle nook 3 with 2.2 seconds left in the second one. 


Thybulle was once the Sixers’ first sub and protected each Donovan Mitchell and Garland. His night time as a shooter once more started badly. After putting the facet of the backboard together with his first strive closing day trip, Thybulle air-balled a 3 Monday evening. He was once lengthy on his subsequent take a look at, which dropped him to 1 for 8 from three-point territory this preseason. 

“It’s a piece in development,” Rivers stated Saturday of Thybulle’s offense. “All we will be able to ask is he places in the time, and I feel he’s labored as exhausting as any one. He put in a large number of time on his shot.

“But there’s so many things that go into it when you’re not a good shooter. Learning to be that; learning to ignore misses and now that you’ve put in the work, keep shooting. The problem is you miss a couple and then you start questioning, and you stop shooting. So far he’s not done that, and that’s what we want him to do.”

The fourth quarter represented a small, certain step in the precise path for Thybulle results-wise. He made each his threes in the duration and completed with 9 issues and two steals. 

Reed assists in keeping construction 

The thought of Paul Reed’s defensive skills meshing smartly with the Sixers’ need to play a extra competitive, switch-heavy taste has materialized in the preseason. 

In 18 mins, Reed racked up 3 steals and 3 blocks. He was once spectacular in different ways, too; the 23-year-old held his personal towards Garland on a couple of switches.

Offensively, the Sixers training body of workers is emphasizing a smoother, more effective means to Reed. A elementary dribble handoff with Melton on which Reed freed his teammate for a floater through screening off his defender was once an excellent representation of that huge concept. Reed is operating to in finding the precise stability — a play the place he challenged Allen, pump faked a couple of instances after which overlooked inside of was once a little bit too bold — however he seems able to giving Rivers what he is in the hunt for on each ends of the ground. 

Furkan Korkmaz certain turns out much less most likely to obtain constant mins than Reed. He was once the eleventh Sixer to input Monday, checking in halfway during the 3rd quarter and scoring six issues on 1-for-3 taking pictures in his 11 mins. 

Charles Bassey once more did not play because the Sixers used rookie Michael Foster Jr. at middle in the fourth quarter. 

Isaiah Joe did get off the bench in the fourth, posting seven issues on 3-for-5 taking pictures. 

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