Maxey & Siakam display the high end of elite mobility and touch

How similar are these two stars?

Prior to tipoff, both Nick Nurse & Doc Rivers sat down across from media to tee up the game. Availability questions, particularly Joel Embiid's were of note at the time. However, in these 2-game sets we get a chance to hear coaches reflect on the other team with a bit more clarity. Tyrese Maxey & Pascal Siakam were, of course, at the front of everyone's minds, as they had combined for 51 points and 19 assists the game before. Not to mention a playoff series against one another where both found plenty of spotlight.

"Maxey needs a game plan, we found out." said Nurse, who kept things relatively short as his mind was somewhat occupied with James Harden and Embiid, but Maxey came up once again: "He’s way up there, yeah. He’s really gotten better. Obviously he’s got that athletic ability and tremendous speed and quickness, but his ability to finish it going a hundred miles an hour, and his ability to shoot, and shoot it from deep, and just the way he plays and carries himself, plays with composure, plays with toughness, competes — he’s really good.” All this, before Maxey erupted for a career-high 44 points on 15-20 shooting. No matter what Maxey becomes (even if he makes the HOF), we just saw one of the best performances of a career.

"He's a tough cover." Rivers said of Siakam pre-game. "I count the last seven games -- six in the playoffs and this one -- he's played pretty well in six of them." Siakam who is in all the early MVP talks, and is as of now averaging 25.3 ppg/9.2 rbs/7.7 ast with a usage-percentage just under 30-percent and a true shooting-percentage of 57-percent. All while he's been asked to guard the likes of Donovan Mitchell, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and Maxey on one end, and absorbing tidal waves of defensive attention on the other.

Siakam, the MVP candidate. Maxey, the young breakout star. 6'9" and 6'2". They're very different. However, I see them mining similar skills for success.

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