WASHINGTON — The Philadelphia 76ers have been in a bit of a rut as of late. They have dropped eight of their last 10 games as they have had to battle through a lot of adversity at the moment.
Joel Embiid will be re-evaluated in early March after his meniscus procedure, De’Anthony Melton remains sidelined due to a back issue, Nic Batum has been dealing with a lingering hamstring injury, Robert Covington has been out, and Tyrese Maxey has been battling an illness.
“Big time step in the right direction,” Maxey said after a win over the Wizards on Saturday. “We had a conversation before last game (the loss to Atlanta) when I was there before I left. I kind of said a few things just to try to get guys back in the right frame of mind and right spirit.”
Spirit is a big thing with this group. The Sixers had this mindset and this swagger at the beginning of the season that they were going to win games regardless of the situation they were faced with. That hasn’t been the case as of late and Philadelphia had to get that back.
“I feel like our spirit is extremely high on this team at the beginning of the year for sure,” Maxey finished. “I think guys responded. We went out there, we played together, we played extremely hard, and you can see that we’re coming back together and it’s gonna be good for us.”
On the flip side, a solid effort against the middling Hawks and a win over the dreadful Wizards isn’t going to prove anything. Philadelphia has got to get moving in the right direction again and the schedule gets much tougher.
The Sixers will face the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday and then host the Miami Heat on Wednesday before heading into the All-Star break. They then face the New York Knicks, Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Boston Celtics after the break. Time will tell if Maxey and the Sixers have truly turned the corner.