By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
Similar to their first back to back of the season, the Sixers fall flat in game two. Despite being without Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the Nets were able to overcome the Sixers by a final of 122-109.
Although this was an ugly loss, there were still some positive takeaways. Here are some grades of the performance.
Ben Simmons: C+
The Sixers' starters struggled in this game, but Simmons might have struggled the most. This game was one of Simmons' worst outings of this young season.
He managed to fill the stat sheet as he does on a nightly basis, but not to the extent we expect from the multi-time All-Star. Simmons would finish the night with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
The two main areas that stand out from Simmons' performance was his shooting and turnovers. Of the 20 turnovers the Sixers had in the game, Simmons accounted for five of them. That is not the type of carelessness with the ball you expect to see from the guy running the offense.
On top of his turnovers, he shot just 4-13 from the floor and got to the line just four times. His touch around the rim was just not there in this game.
Joel Embiid: B
Embiid was another starter who struggled early in this one but managed to put together a solid second half. He would finish the game with 20 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, and one block.
After dominating almost every matchup he has had this season, Embiid had his struggles against Jarrett Allen at times. He would just 2-7 in the first two quarters.
Something must have clicked at halftime because Embiid turned it on in the second half. He would score 12 of his 20 points in the last two quarters, hitting five of his seven shot attempts. Embiid was scoring from all over the court, trying his best to create a surge and get the Sixers back in the game.
Tyrese Maxey: A
The Sixers' first-round pick saw a lot of action tonight due to injuries, and he did not disappoint. Tyrese Maxey would slide into the sixth man role, and provided a huge spark off the bench.
This might have been the rookie's best game this season. He ended the night with 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists. What stood out most was his ability to score on all three levels. From knocking down a pair of threes to his signature floater at the rim, Maxey was playing extremely confident offensively.
In a night where the Sixers struggled taking care of the ball, Maxey was a bright spot. In his 20 minutes of action, Maxey would not commit a single turnover. That type of ball security is great to see from a rookie guard who only has nine games under his belt.
Shake Milton: A+
Shake Milton was the biggest bright spot for the Sixers in this game. He would start this game for an injured Seth Curry and was the best player on the floor for the Sixers.
Milton would lead the team in scoring and passing tonight. Finishing with 24 points on an efficient 8/13 shooting, and dished seven assists. He would also get to the line seven times, and converted every attempt.
After going through a small cold spell, Milton seems to be coming out of it. He has now scored at least 19 points in each of the last two games, reminding everyone how big of a weapon he can be for the team's offense.
Milton has always stepped up when the team has needed it in the past, and that time might be coming again now. With Korkmaz and Curry injured now, there is more time opened up at the guard spots.
Whether it's in the starting lineup or running the second unit, the Sixers are going to need to rely on Milton more in this upcoming stretch.