Tyrese Maxey’s star is rising fast
As I watch Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey improve by leaps and bounds, I remember when Philadelphia drafted him.
He played one year at Kentucky before going to the NBA. When the Sixers selected him 21st overall in 2020, many analysts thought it was a steal.
Maxey expected to be a lottery selection; the reason he fell to Philly was perhaps because of his poor 3-point shooting at Kentucky. Everything else about his game was elite.
In his rookie season, Maxey immediately earned minutes as part of coach Doc Rivers’ rotation, showing great promise. From the beginning, his coaches and teammates raved about his energy and work ethic.
But this year, he’s ascended to stardom.
With Ben Simmons sitting out, Maxey was elevated to a starting role. And when Joel Embiid was sidelined for an extended period with COVID-19, Maxey shouldered more offensive responsibility.
A star is born
What really took his game to another level, though, was the addition of James Harden.
In the four games Harden has played with Philadelphia since the trade, Maxey has performed like an all-star. He’s scored 28, 21, 25 and 33 points, including 14 3-pointers.
For the season, he’s now shooting 42% from 3.
I love how Harden has become a mentor to Maxey, telling the 21-year-old to be more aggressive. You can tell Harden knows Maxey has the skills and mindset to flourish in the NBA.
And the young guard just takes everything in, growing in confidence daily under the tutelage of Harden and Joel Embiid.
It’s incredible to see, and Sixers fans have every right to be excited about this franchise right now.