Sixers Maxey thriving in his second season

by Marc Narducci | Feb 5, 2022
Sixers Maxey thriving in his second season

While 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was known for his shrewd trades during his 13 seasons with the Houston Rockets, one of the best moves made shortly after taking over as 76ers President of Basketball Operations last year was the drafting of Tyrese Maxey.
After his freshman season at Kentucky, Maxey opted for the draft, but there were plenty of questions about his game, specifically his shooting,
At Kentucky, he shot just 29.3 percent from the three-point range. There were many who questioned whether he was a true point guard.
At Kentucky, he averaged 14.0 points and 3.2 assists, not eye-popping stats to say the least.
Maxey became the first player drafted under the Morey regime, No. 21 overall.
He experienced his ups and downs as a rookie, going long stretches without seeing action and then playing an integral role for several games as well.
As an example, last year in a 109-106 Game 5 loss to the Atlanta Hawks that put the Sixers behind 3 games to 2, Maxey played just 1 minute and 20 seconds.
He then extended the Sixers season by helping them win 104-99 Game 6 by scoring 16 points in just more than 29 minutes.

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Maxey never pouted when he didn’t play last season and was ready when coach Doc Rivers called his number. That type of attitude earned him great respect among his teammates and the coaching staff.
He began the week averaging 16.5 points and 4.7 assists, and most importantly, 35.5 minutes. 
As a rookie, he averaged 8.0 points in 15.3 minutes. Maxey shot just 30.1% from the three-point range. Maxey began this week shooting 40.5% from beyond the arc. 
Now teams must account for him from the perimeter, which opens things up for Joel Embiid and others inside.
What Maxey showed even last year, was a fearless mindset. He felt he could score in any situation against any defender. No situation appeared too big, including the postseason. 
Unlike the player he has replaced, Ben Simmons, whose reluctance to shoot has been well-documented, Maxey seems to thrive in taking the big shot. 
He is so quick that he can get to the basket almost at will.
Maxey will never come close to being the defender Simmons is, but few others in the NBA can either. Simmons is an elite defender, but he was a liability late in games when the Sixers needed offense.
Maxey has worked on his defense.
In fact, he has worked on his entire game. 


Everything with the Sixers revolves around MVP candidate Joel Embiid and how others blend with him on the court. According to Basketball-reference.com, with Maxey and Embiid on the court, the Sixers are +7.9 points per 100 possessions.
Maxey has earned the trust of the veterans and at 21, is arguably the Sixer's second most valuable component next to Embiid.


Author: Marc Narducci

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