The Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericked matched up on Friday at the American Airlines Center and it was anything but an ordinary night. First of all, the Dallas area was hit with an ice storm that caused some issues on the roads, and then the game was delayed 40 minutes in the first quarter due to an uneven rim.
The Sixers were able to get the usual dominance out of Joel Embiid, but the Mavericks were also able to get good production of their star in Luka Doncic and the adjustment of going to a zone defense allowed Dallas to rally and knock off the Sixers 107-98. Doncic had 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 15 assists to lead Dallas.
Embiid led Philadelphia with 27 points and 13 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 13 points and five assists, Tyrese Maxey had 18 and five assists, and Seth Curry added 11. Georges Niang had 13 and Andre Drummond added six and seven boards off the bench.
Here are the player grades following the tough road loss:
Tyrese Maxey: B-
There was more development from Maxey in this one. He was able to make the right reads off the pick-and-roll with both Drummond and Embiid which was really impressive for him. There was one possession where he was pressured off the screen by the Mavericks and he threw a perfect pass to Green in the corner. A couple of possessions later, he decided to go all the way to the basket and finish. The kid is so impressive for being so young. His next step in his growth has to be running this team’s offense against a zone defense as he and the team struggled when Dallas made the adjustment.
Seth Curry: B-
After sitting out a game to rest his back, Curry looked more agile in this one. He was moving better and he was able to find a groove early after struggling badly for most of their win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 31. He and Embiid were also able to continue growing their two-man game as the two of them worked that aspect on offense and he was able to knock down a triple off of it.
Matisse Thybulle: C
With no Ben Simmons, the Sixers turned to Thybulle to defend Doncic and he made his life miserable. He used his length and his athleticism to bother Doncic and force him into some really tough looks and that was a big help in this one. However, things changed in the second half as Doncic was able to get into a big groove. It would have been nice for him to add more offense,as well, in order to bust the zone.
Tobias Harris: B
One can see Harris really beginning to figure it out again. There is so much that he can do for this team on the offensive end when the game is made simple for him. The development of Maxey as a ball-handler has taken less pressure on him on the offensive end and he is allowed to play his game freely. It would have helped if Harris took more than eight shots in this one, though, especially after a fast start on offense.
Joel Embiid: B+
The big fella started this game strong as he went right at Dwight Powell and drew two fouls and then he followed that up with a slam past Marquese Chriss as he made it look so easy. He then drew two fouls on Chriss and he had himself a huge first quarter. The Mavs then turned to Boban Marjanovic and Embiid promptly stepped back and drilled a triple and then blew past him to draw a foul. Dallas truly did not have an answer for Embiid at all in this one as he’s just too skilled. The zone defense neutralized him, but it was more on the guards being unable to get the team into their offense rather than Embiid himself.
Andre Drummond: C+
The backup big man made an immediate impact as he threw down a lob and then bullied the Mavericks down low for a putback bucket in the first quarter. He was impactful all night which is exactly what he should do with the Mavericks so small without Kristaps Porzingis and the other bigs in foul trouble. However, after the fast start, Drummond tried to do a bit too much as he tried to show off more of his game. It got him into trouble and that was an issue for the Sixers.
Georges Niang: B+
This was a good Niang game. He hopped off the bench and he knocked down two triples to help the Sixers stay in a rhythm even with Embiid on the bench. He also had a nice drive to the basket and his offense was essential in this one.
Danny Green: D+
The initial run for Green was tough as he stepped out of bounds while spotting up for a triple and he then air-balled a corner 3-pointer. He did grab six rebounds, however, as that was a positive for him.
Isaiah Joe: D-
This was a pretty miserable night for the young shooter. Joe picked up four fouls in his first nine minutes and he was not able to make up for it on offense as he missed his open triples.