The Sixers capped off the regular season on Sunday with a 128-117 victory over the Orlando Magic. It was up to the bench to end the season on a high note as the starters got the game off to rest for the playoffs.
Sunday was an opportunity for the younger players to show what they can do, and they did not disappoint. Going against Orlando's full lineup, the rookies shined in the win.
No rookie shined brighter than Tyrese Maxey, who scored a team-high 30 points. Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe also did their part. Both finished with 17 points, and Reed racked up a double-double with 12 rebounds.
Doc Rivers has praised this group all season for their hard work behind the scenes. Sunday's game was a testament to the effort they put in during their 'low minute scrimmages.'
The rookies did not let the fact that it was the final game of the season deter them from going all out. For the full 48 minutes, they played with great energy on both sides of the floor.
After the game, Rivers credited the rookies and the staff for all their off-the-court work.
"That's a testimony to them and a whole group of coaches that wake up every morning, after games with those guys. They have that low-minute scrimmage, and it's a real game. I mean they play hard, and they've been doing it all year," said Rivers.
Nobody was more ecstatic than them to hear the starters were getting the day off. Rivers also mentioned how excited the younger guys were to get to take the floor on Sunday.
"They were so excited [Sunday] when we told them the guys were not playing. They were talking about winning the game. They went out and played against another team that had a lot of their starters on the floor and won the game. That's pretty cool for those guys," Rivers said postgame.
Sunday was a great moment for the rookies to not only get to show what they can do but pick up a win in the process. Hopefully, it is a confidence boost for them as they continually work to grow as players.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.