Tyrese Maxey won the James Harden trade
Tyrese Maxey is clearly having no problems being the Philadelphia 76ers’ second option behind Joel Embiid. He’s been shining since the start of the season thanks to James Harden refusing to suit up and then getting his trade wish to the LA Clippers.
Maxey is currently averaging 28.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, a steal and a block. He’s doing all of this while only turning the ball over 1.1 times a game and shooting 50.5% from the field, 43.1% from the three-point line and 93% from the free throw line. If he keeps those numbers up, he’s bound to be an All-Star this season.
Maxey’s numbers have contributed greatly to Philadelphia’s current eight-game winning streak and their status atop the Eastern Conference with an 8-1 record. In his most recent performance, Maxey put up an astounding 50 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks while shooting 20 of 32 from the field and 7 of 11 from beyond the arc.
This impressed Joel Embiid, who had a great game of his own with 37 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a block. Embiid, who has shown frustration with the Sixers lately, was quick to proclaim Maxey as his partner in shaping the future of the franchise. That’ll be at least a minor relief to Sixers fans.
Meanwhile, James Harden is having the opposite experience since getting traded back to his home town. Harden and the Clippers are now 0-4 since he started suiting up for the team – not exactly what the Clippers envisioned after creating the Big Four of Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Their most recent defeat was an embarrassing 105-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently the worst team in the Western Conference.
Harden stunk it up with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block while shooting 4 of 12 overall and 1 of 7 from long range. The man who’s meant to be “the system” is looking out of sorts and still out of shape, needs to figure things out. He told people it would take him 10 games to get back into the swing of things after missing out on training camps, preseason and the start of the regular season, but in a competitive West, that may be too much time.
The Sixers are clearly the winners of the trade so far, and removing the distraction that Harden created was the right move.
The Mavericks are having a hell of a start to their campaign
The Dallas Mavericks are now 8-2 to start the season and are tied with the defending champion Denver Nuggets for the best record in the Western Conference. Their most recent was a convincing 136-124 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Questions about how Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving might mesh together are slowly being answered with the pair combining for 65 points and 16 assists while shooting 24 of 38 from the field and 13 of 19 from beyond the arc.
Doncic had a laugh at Irving saying he was tired before the game, a sign of some chemistry potentially developing between the two ball-dominant players already.
The game was basically out of reach by the end of the third quarter, as a 39-27 scoring advantage for the Pelicans in the fourth quarter still led to a 12-point defeat for New Orleans.
The Houston Rockets won’t stop winning
The Houston Rockets aren’t fucking around this season and they’ve now won six-straight games against difficult opposition. They just beat the defending champion Denver Nuggets in a 107-104 barnburner that had Nikola Jokic put up a monster triple-double of 36 points, 21 rebounds and 11 assists.
That performance from Jokic was not enough to overcome the Rockets’ stubbornness, though. Jokic was quick to praise Alperen Sengun, the Rockets’ young center who is showing signs of potentially becoming a full-court threat like Jokic.
The Rockets’ current hit list includes the Nuggets, Pelicans, Lakers, Kings (twice), and Hornets. They’ve got the Clippers up next and considering the state of those guys, it wouldn’t be surprising if they walked away from LA with their seventh-straight win.
Anthony Edwards continues his ascent
Not a lot of people get to walk away from the Chase Center with a victory after Steph Curry scores 38 points, but Anthony Edwards just did it after putting up 33 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals to neutralize Curry’s contributions.
Edwards has been a one-man wrecking ball so far this season and he’s led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 7-2 record, good for third in the Western Conference. The athletic wing has averages of 28.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his fourth season since being drafted first overall in the 2020 NBA draft. He’s shown that he was definitely worth the pick and team results are also working out