Daryl Morey’s first draft pick of his tenure in Philadelphia, rookie Tyrese Maxey, is already showing the potential of being one of the biggest draft steals after the Sixers chose him with the 21st overall pick.
Many were surprised to see the freshman from Kentucky fall that far, and The Sixers were quick to jump on the opportunity to acquire the playmaking guard. Now, after playing in his first NBA preseason and finishing his first offseason, the Sixers should be even more thrilled with their young rookie.
Maxey didn’t get his first minutes until the fourth quarter of the Sixers preseason opener against the Boston Celtics, but it was enough to secure his spot in the hearts of Sixers fans everywhere.
Against the Celtics (primarily against the defensively talented Grant Williams), Maxey showcased his ability to create not only his own shot but also his ability to get to the paint and score from inside. In the Sixers’ second match-up against the Indiana Pacers, Maxey would only build on this, proving once again he could score from inside at will.
12/15 vs Boston Celtics
8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists in 12 minutes of play
— Sixers Nation (@PHLSixersNation) December 16, 2020
12/18 @ Indiana Pacers
11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist in 17 minutes of play
Tyrese Maxey and Paul Reed pick and roll. Giving the people what they want ? pic.twitter.com/y6QasCbjST
— Sixers Nation (@PHLSixersNation) December 19, 2020
Another reason Maxey continues to gain support from the Sixers 100% always supportive fanbase is that he plays with an extremely high motor, an attribute that caused Sixers greats like Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, and TJ McConnell (the GOAT) to become such fan favorites. When he’s on offense, he is almost always moving, keeping his defender on his toes, allowing him to take advantage of any mistakes, and making him a force to be reckoned with. And though his main weakness entering the NBA was his lackluster skills on the defensive side of the ball, his energy allowed him to capitalize on multiple opportunities given to him.
Finally, another important component Maxey has shown he can bring to the table is his ability to play either guard position in addition to either wing. Many Sixers fans believed the addition of Maxey was to aid the Sixers shooting woes, as Maxey was an excellent shooter in college. Still, in his first two games for the Sixers, Maxey has also displayed that he can be an effective backup point guard behind Ben Simmons, another area the Sixers have struggled in recent years.
Though Maxey hardly played point guard in his lone season at Kentucky, Doc Rivers has had him bringing the ball up and running the offense on multiple occasions this preseason.
The Sixers added tons of shooting help this offseason. However, they still needed to find an answer as to who could handle ball-handling duties and create opportunities for both those shooters and himself when Simmons wasn’t on the floor, and luckily it seems they may have found the answer in Tyrese Maxey.
Overall, Maxey showed his potential to be a real asset for the 76ers not only this season but for seasons to come.
With his ability to use his high motor to create his own shot and finish inside, all from either the wings or point guard position, Maxey could prove to be one of the better draft steals in franchise history.
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