The Philadelphia 76ers have atoned for their poor start to the season by winning three consecutive games. Their latest win over the Washington Wizards was a team effort, as numerous Sixers put up good games amid Joel Embiid's absence due to illness.
Tyrese Maxey shined with 28 points and James Harden tied his career-high of 17 assists while adding 23 points. But another Sixer who had a great game was De'Anthony Melton. The stats may be eye-popping but the Philly guard was a crucial part of the victory, providing for the team on both sides of the floor in big ways.
Melton tallied 16 points on 7-10 field-goal shooting and 2-4 3-point shooting, two rebounds, two steals and one assist against Washington. Speaking with NBC Sports Philadelphia commentators Kate Scott and Alaa Abdelnaby after the win, Maxey dropped some huge praise on Melton for his well-rounded skill set.
“Melton is huge. They call him Mr. Do Something for a reason: that's what he does,” Maxey said of the Sixers' newcomer. “We ask him to guard Bradley Beal, we ask him to make open threes, we ask him to roll, we ask him to pop, we ask him to do so many different things on the basketball court and that's what he does.”
Whenever the Sixers needed it, Melton came up with a play against the Wizards. He shot the ball super efficiently while playing a leading role in forcing Bradley Beal into shooting 7-18 from the field. Down the stretch of the fourth quarter, Melton served as the screener for Harden and then the subsequent playmaker. The Wizards trapped Harden, he dished to Melton and Mr. Do Something made the right passes to help the Sixers get good looks with the advantages they had.
While P.J. Tucker's ability to guard bigger players is a key for the Sixers' small-ball lineup when Embiid sits, so is Melton's versatile game. As the bench player that gets elevated, he has to fit in with a new group and face tougher opposing lineups — and he does it seamlessly.
It was a slow start for De'Anthony Melton, but over his last five games:
42.8 percent (9 of 21) from three
Giving the Sixers a little bit of everything.
— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) November 1, 2022
De'Anthony Melton is already a favorite among Sixers fans and will continue to be one, as well as one of the team's best players, as he produces on both ends of the floor.