I wrote a little bit about this on Monday, but it’s worth a follow-up because the Sixers continued to hammer the Raptors with that “12” pick and roll in Game 2.

Here’s a short breakdown of how they use Tyrese Maxey as a screener for James Harden:

The action is difficult to defend because opposing players have to make split-second decisions here. Do you switch? Do you go over? Go under? Which guy is more dangerous?

Maxey touched on that postgame, saying this:

“It’s tough. You’ve got two guards. Either I’m coming off or (Harden’s) coming off. You’ve got to make a decision. Do you want to switch? Most of the time they don’t want to get off James’ body and give him any space. If they don’t, I’m getting downhill. If they switch, then he has a matchup or I have a matchup. We just try to get downhill and make plays for ourselves and make plays for others as well.”

Keep in mind that OG Anunoby is a 6’7″ wing and Tyrese Maxey is a 6’2″ combo guard. When you make that switch, you find yourself in two perimeter mismatches, the other being Harden and Malachi Flynn. Maxey can beat Anunoby off the dribble, or in the case of the video clip above, he can work the close out into a three-point attempt.

Brett Brown ran this all the time with Ben Simmons and JJ Redick, and it worked more like this:

Brown had to do it differently because Simmons was a non-shooter. So in the play above, there are really three different options they cycle though. Simmons can drive (1), Redick can shoot off the catch (2), or he can play the rifle action with Joel Embiid into the corner (3) –

Watch for this action in Games 3 and 4. The Sixers have done a nice job forcing switches and putting Maxey in ideal situations, so we’ll see how Toronto adjusts. They’re also using Danny Green to screen for Harden and trying to isolate 1v1 that way, so a couple of wrinkles to keep an eye on moving forward.