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A lack of physicality was a common theme from the Philadelphia 76ers during their second-round battle against the Miami Heat over the last couple of weeks.

After the Sixers dropped Game 5 on the road and collected an ugly 35-point loss, members of the roster pointed to a lack of physicality as a reason why they couldn’t counter the Heat’s attack.

The 76ers’ Game 6 loss in Philadelphia was a similar situation. As the Heat were by and far the more physical team, Miami never looked uncomfortable at any point during the matchup, even when the Sixers attempted to go on a desperate run in the second half.

While several players of the team discussed the lack of physicality from the Sixers’ end after the game, 76ers veteran forward Tobias Harris added another factor into the team’s loss as he sounded off on the Sixers’ lack of mental toughness.

“It’s mental toughness,” said Harris regarding the team’s shortcomings. “I think that part of it, I don’t think we have yet. Seeing the Milwaukee game, that’s a team that’s been through the fire being able to fight and just keep going. I think, at times, for our group, too many things just affected us as a whole. We drop our heads too much, and our body language at times is crappy.”

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Harris was the first player to point that out after Game 6. Shortly after he spoke to the media, his young teammate Tyrese Maxey took the podium and found out about Harris’ comments. The second-year standout agreed with Harris’ sentiment.

“I think Tobias was right with that,” said Maxey. “Mental toughness is a thing that this team is really going to have to really look in the mirror, and all of us are going to have to try to gain that mental toughness and be tough. Be tough within ourselves, and be tough as a group as well. I think that’s something we’ll look at and try to get better at.”

Maxey has a lot that he wants to work on going into the offseason. Right after the series loss to the Heat, Maxey highlighted offensive creation, facilitating, and ball-handling as something he’ll put extra focus on when he gets back in the gym this summer. 

Considering he’s under the belief the Sixers need to be a mentally tougher team under challenging situations next season, Maxey will more than likely focus on getting his mind right so he can personally be more focused and stronger in big moments when a game is on the line. And if there is one player who the Sixers can count on to come back better, it’s Tyrese Maxey. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.


More Sixers News:

Lack of Mental Toughness: Philadelphia 76ers veterans Tobias Harris and Danny Green believed that Philadelphia’s playoff struggles in the second round could be attributed to a lack of mental toughness and maturity on the team. Following the Game 6 loss against the Miami Heat, the two veterans weighed in on the idea that the team wasn’t mentally ready to take the next step. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE 

Need an Enforcer: Philadelphia 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid believed that a lack of physicality hurt his team in the second-round playoff series against the Miami Heat. After seeing the impact that a player like P.J. Tucker had on the Heat, Embiid publicly encourages the Sixers’ front office to find an enforcer in the offseason. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE