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The Philadelphia 76ers have gotten off to a slow start during the 2022-23 NBA season. While not looking like themselves so far, their combo guard, Tyrese Maxey, is also looking different this season.
The third-year player out of Kentucky has transformed into one of the most dynamic guards in the NBA. Now known as an electrifying scorer, his quickness, speed and burst compliments his confidence, which has made him a respectable second scoring option for the 76ers.
“I’m a firm believer in my work, I’m a firm believer in my capabilities and what I can do,” stated Maxey.
His confidence has been the most obvious change from the first two years of his career. In his rookie season, Maxey averaged 8.0 points per game and that average spiked up to 17.5 last year.
Maxey took advantage of an opportunity when Ben Simmons refused to play at the start of last season. Head coach Doc Rivers decided to insert him in the starting lineup last year during Simmons’ absence.
With the addition of Harden, his game took off although it was whispers around the NBA that Harden might slow him down.
Yet still, Maxey was able to benefit from playing along side the future Hall of Fame guard and says Harden has been instrumental in his development.
“He’s James Harden at the end of the day. He mentors me and helps me with my game and helps me get better every single day,” said Maxey.
This season so far, he’s averaging more than 22.0 points and has been a spark plug for the 76ers offense. Rivers and the coaching staff believe that his ability to be a combo guard, especially while Harden is out, will pay off for the team and his development as a player.
The third-year player believes that being decisive has been his biggest development.
“My self-creation. Getting isos and different things like that,” stated Maxey. “Creating for myself and then creating for others during those isos as well has been my biggest development.”
Even with Harden averaging 10.0 assist this season, Maxey has chipped in 4.5 assist per game as well. As fast as he is, the game is starting to slow down for him.
Speaking of fast, his speed is one of the main factors for his success on offense. His ability to be in control while maximizing his speed makes him dangerous on the court, especially on fast breaks.
It allows him to stop on a dime and take that 15-foot jumper while the defender is about to head for the cameramen on the base line.
“I think I’m pretty fast with the ball. Right now, we have guys like De’Aaron Fox and John Wall who are extremely fast. I don’t know, right now in the game, I think I’m at least top three,” said Maxey.
His next step will be knowing when to take over a game. That will be a hard task due to having Embiid and Harden on the team, but the more comfortable he gets in his roll and into his game, it will become natural for him. Good and great players have a sense when to turn it on.
At this rate, Maxey is on his way of putting himself in position to make the All-Star Team. Although that will be a dream come true for him, the 22-year old from Dallas, Texas just wants to be useful and contribute.
“This my first year coming into training camp knowing what my roll would be, so I just wanted to be a star in that roll and help our team win as much games as possible and get to our ultimate goal,” stated Maxey.
It’s only the beginning of his third season in the NBA and he seems like he’s forming into a star. Once he fully understands the game and it slows all the way down for him, the league better watch out because he’s coming for them fast.