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Tyrese Maxey Continues to Blossom at Point Guard for Sixers

Tyrese Maxey, Sixers

The Philadelphia 76ers have taken the basketball community by storm following an impressive start to the regular season. Despite an array of players being on the sidelines for multiple reasons, the team has banded together and managed to land the Sixers atop the Eastern Conference standings. 

One factor that has played a pivotal role in their success is players stepping up and taking on larger roles. Out of all the players on the Sixers, none have had more thrown on their plate than Tyrese Maxey. 

With Ben Simmons still out of the picture, Doc Rivers had a massive hole to fill in the starting lineup. There appeared to be a quiet tournament going on in training camp and preseason between Maxey and Shake Milton, but that all changed when Milton suffered an ankle injury and missed the start of the season. The starting point guard role was then thrust on the now 21-year-old. 

Many agreed the starting job should have gone to Maxey regardless, but this transition was not going to be seamless. Maxey is at his best when showcasing his speed and ability to score the ball in bunches. Adapting to being a floor general is a part of his game that needs to be refined. Luckily for Maxey, the Sixers had the perfect staff to make this move as easy as possible. 

Not only was Doc Rivers a longtime point guard in the NBA, but assistant coach Sam Cassell also had a good career at the position. Not to mention Cassell is widely regarded as one of the best developmental coaches in the league right now. Having two former point guards in his ear daily has done wonders for Maxey. 

The playmaking flashes were there from the beginning of the season, but Maxey had some issues taking care of the ball. However, his recent stretch has been arguably his most impressive as a pro. Maxey continues to find a balance between scorer and facilitator and is taking tremendous care of the basketball. 

Over his last five games, Maxey has dished 28 assists to just two turnovers. These numbers are even more impressive considering he has played 39 minutes or more for four-straight matchups. Taking on this new role as maestro of the offense has not impacted his scoring either, as the young guard went for 31 points in a down to the wire loss to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks

Players and coaches have been quick to praise Maxey for the work he has done at point guard. Before Tuesday’s matchup with the Bucks, Rivers gave his thoughts on the play of the former first-round pick. 

“He’s doing a nice job. We’re so tough on him because we need to teach him. Even last night, we showed him three or four times where he got in the paint and could have made plays. Overall I think he has the right tempo, the right pace. He’s making the right decisions, putting pressure on the defense. He’s doing a lot of good things.”

Teammate Andre Drummond also had a lot of nice things to say after the Sixers’ matchup with the New York Knicks on Monday. He feels Maxey has matured a lot since he was inserted into the starting lineup full-time. 

“He’s matured quickly with the role that he has now. Its come to him very quickly. He has a lot on his plate, and I tell him all the time to just breathe. Just play your game and have fun while you’re out there. You’re going to make mistakes, just play hard, and things will come to you.” 

Heading into this season, everyone speculated on how the Sixers’ offense will look without Simmons setting the table. While there have been issues at times, Maxey has elevated his game and softened the blow of being without the three-time All-Star. 

With his strong work ethic, Maxey will only get better by the day. Based on the growth he has shown in just his second season, it is undeniable that the sky’s the limit for Maxey’s potential.