76ers’ Tyrese Maxey Becomes Star Amid Ben Simmons Business Rumors
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The Philadelphia 76ers entered the season with a major hole in the playmaker with Ben Simmons seated as the ongoing business saga continues to unfold.
In his absence, they adapted on the fly, handing the keys to offense to second-year goaltender Tyrese Maxey. The 21-year-old more than seized his opportunity as he continues to show his potential as a playmaker, getting into the conversation for the most improved player of the year.
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“He’s just started, he’s learning and he still has a lot to learn,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said.
“He’s never played the position in his life. He’s always been a goalkeeper. We call him the mini-scorer, obviously. He’s been great. He’s starting to call sets. He’s starting to lead them. guys to be in the right place. You know, this position is probably the hardest because you not only have to know your own but you have to know everyone’s place. You have to know what you are looking for every time you do a set. It just takes time, and I’m, ‘I’m patient with that. I’m in no rush.
When you look at the numbers, it is easy to see that his production doubles with his minutes. But the fact that he scores the ball more effectively on a higher volume of shots and that his assist / turnover ratio stands at 3.77, against 19.4 last season, particularly stands out.
According to Cleaning the Glass, his 7.3 spin percentage is the lowest among playmakers in the entire league.
With more time on the pitch and more offensive responsibilities, his game is tightening up and he’s only getting better.
Without Simmons on the roster, the 76ers’ transition game has all but evaporated, dropping from 12th place last season to last place to start this season. Maxey was the only bright spark, rising and falling the ground with his blazing speed, catching opposing guards – something head coach Doc Rivers wants to see more of.
“I’m glad he was aggressive,” Rivers said after their game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night. “I want him to keep hitting the rim, use his speed. It was good to see him on the edge a few times (vs Utah). This is for me what I like; that is what he did not do. He was not at all on the edge [recently]. And the league will take the floats and the intermediate game, but they can’t handle it when he gets on the rim… so that’s what we need from him.
Maxey’s float became one of his most dangerous weapons with his ability to beat his first man and get a high release on opposing big men, allowing him to shoot 48.4% on those shots. But as Rivers mentioned, when he comes down and attacks the basket, that’s a whole different issue.
The former Kentucky goaltender is shooting 58.3% on shots within five feet of the basket and among pointers attempting at least 5.0 shots within five feet per game, Maxey is fourth in the league for the percentage of field goals behind only Malcolm Brogdon, Ja Morant and Collin Sexton.
Maxey had a particularly productive streak in November, highlighted by a 30-point back-to-back performance against the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, becoming the youngest player in 76ers history do this.
With Embiid and Tobias Harris out for nine and four games, respectively, due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Maxey has emerged as the 76ers’ primary offensive weapon, averaging 23.7 of 48.8 points. % shots and 42.1% depth.
“I think it’s just confidence, to be myself, to help the team the best that I can,” said Maxey. “I think now I’ve become a little more comfortable with it and I’m just trying to do my part and help us win.”
Embiid has played in the 76ers for the last seven games (4-3) and is coming back to his MVP level. navigate your role with the healthy team. In those seven games, Maxey’s numbers have dropped to 9.7 points per game at 32.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from the 3-point line, but Rivers isn’t too concerned about the recent incident.
“Where people get lost is when Joel is away, someone has to score,” Rivers told FanNation’s Justin Grasso last week. “It’s like that. When Joel and Tobias are away, someone has to score. When Joel, Tobias and Seth [Curry] came out, someone will score more points.
“So when they come back, it doesn’t mean the same person is going to score the same number of points. It’s stupid to think of it that way, you know? He’s going to be aggressive, and we’re going to keep him aggressive. just didn’t play well the other night. It’s going to happen. It wasn’t just him, I didn’t think we were playing well as a group. “
As December 15 approaches – the date the majority of free agents signed in the last offseason become eligible to be traded – and any potential deals for Ben Simmons start to gain momentum, the 76ers will look without no doubt an All-Star point. guard in return. But as Maxey continues to flourish as a productive scorer and a playmaker in the lead of his offense, he may well position himself as their playmaker of the future.
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