Tyrese Maxey Proving To Be Key To Success For 76ers

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

All season long, the Philadelphia 76ers have faced questions not only about their front-office and their willingness to put together a championship-level team, but whether or not this roster has what it takes to make the NBA Finals for the first-time since 2001.

Joel Embiid quickly emerged as an MVP favorite early in the year and has since continued to sit at the top of the MVP rankings heading into the final weeks of the regular season, however, the Sixers’ supporting cast had been very up-and-down to begin the year, especially with Ben Simmons sitting out. 

At the trade deadline, the 76ers made a huge move by acquiring former league-MVP James Harden from the Brooklyn Nets. Not only has this trade helped the Joel Embiid, but Tyrese Maxey has seemed to be the biggest beneficiary of Harden being in Philadelphia. 

With Ben Simmons sitting out to begin the year, second-year guard Tyrese Maxey was named the 76ers’ opening night starting point guard and he immediately became a key, core weapon for this franchise to utilize. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 76ers Tried To Trade For Bradley Beal Before James Harden

Tyrese Maxey has become a much better off-the-ball threat since Harden joined the 76ers and he is a multi-dimensional scoring weapon in the backcourt that has done nothing but produce night-in and night-out for this franchise. 

Since James Harden joined the rotation on February 25, Tyrese Maxey has averaged 19.5 points, 3.1 assists and has shot 55.1% from the floor, 47.8% from three-point range in 12 total games. 

All of the questions about who would be the 76ers’ third key talent next to Embiid and Harden have been answered and Maxey is proving to be the x-factor for this franchise, especially in the Sixers’ most recent victory against Miami. 

Entering Monday night, the Philadelphia 76ers sat 3.5 games behind the 1-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference standings and things did not look good for them to make up ground on the Heat, as Joel Embiid and James Harden were both ruled out for rest for the second-leg of a back-to-back. 

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 76ers Tried To Trade For Bradley Beal Before James Harden

The Heat were heavily favored in Monday night’s contest in Philadelphia, but Tyrese Maxey was not about to let Miami come in and walk out with a victory, as the young guard went for 28 points on 9-15 shooting, 3-7 three-point range, adding 5 rebounds and 4 assists to his name as well in a surprising 113-106 victory for the 76ers. 

Perhaps the best part of Tyrese Maxey’s night was when he blocked a layup attempt by Heat’s Caleb Martin with about 24 seconds left in the game, sealing the victory for the 76ers.

Now 2.5 games back from first-place in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers have a chance to once again claim the top-seed in the East with just 11 games remaining on their schedule. 

Tyrese Maxey’s performance against the Heat on Monday night was not only impressive in the sense that 13 of his 28 total points game in the fourth-quarter, but due to the fact that at 21-years-old, he has the full respect of his teammates to be their leader on the floor when Joel Embiid and James Harden are out. 

“I’m always going to have fun no matter what the circumstance is,” Maxey said. “I get to wake up in the morning and play basketball for a living. It’s a beautiful thing. I thank the Lord every single day, every single night and every single time before I step on the court, so I’m always going to have that fun.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 76ers Tried To Trade For Bradley Beal Before James Harden

“But the crowd, the Philadelphia crowd, every single time I look on the sheet after the game, it says sellout. That’s an amazing feeling. For them to come even when your two superstars are not playing and show the determination, the will just to rally behind us, is a really good feeling.”

The Ben Simmons situation hung over the heads of the 76ers’ front-office and this fan base for months, but it may just be the best thing to have happened to this franchise because of the emergence of Tyrese Maxey. 

The 21st overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, Maxey has been waiting for this moment to prove himself at the NBA-level and he has blown the expectations placed upon him at the beginning of the season out of the water!

“He’s just not scared,” head coach Doc River stated after the game. “He’s so comfortable in the moment. My guess is as much as he works, you know, he’s put so much work in his game, he feels pretty comfortable in any position. You put the work in, the more work you put in, the more confident you are. I think that’s a great testimony for Tyrese Maxey.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 76ers Tried To Trade For Bradley Beal Before James Harden

This season for the 76ers is likely going to be about Joel Embiid winning MVP and the future with James Harden by his side, plus whatever happens in the playoffs, but the biggest takeaway from the 2021-22 season for the Sixers has to be the sudden rise of Tyrese Maxey. 

There is just a certain level of swag that Maxey plays with night-in and night-out that not only electrifies the fans in the arena, but re-energizes his team when things are not necessarily going their way. 

Tyrese Maxey is the key to the Philadelphia 76ers going on a deep playoff run this season and should they find themselves in the NBA Finals, it will be because of Maxey’s abilities to create opportunities for himself and teammates both with and without the ball in his hands.

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