How Maxey Has Been So Effective This Series
Tyrese Maxey has jumped out to an unbelievable start early in the series against the Raptors and is continuing to show just how much he’s grown this past season. Maxey has been absolutely dominant at times through games 1 and 2, but the most impressive part about his play is that nothing is forced. A lot of guys would need plays drawn up for them time and time again to get the scoring output Maxey has been producing, but not Maxey. He is simply comfortable in his role and absolutely starring in it right now. Maxey has been able to star in his role for two main reasons, his aggressive mindset and the trust he has earned from Embiid and Harden
Often times with young players, the moment becomes too big for them and they become passive. This can lead to being too scared to make mistakes, instead of just playing freely. Maxey is playing extremely free and more importantly he is actually hunting out his own shot. There is no hesitation before he makes a move to get to the rim or pull up from three. He simply has been attacking the clear mismatches he’s been getting and not overthinking it. A lot of the times that is what fans get so mad with Tobias Harris about, the indecisiveness, but Maxey has been the opposite. His confidence is soaring and his play level is following suit. If he can continue to be aggressive and play freely he will be a problem not only for the Raptors, but for every opponent.
It is no surprise that Nick Nurse and the Raptors have been doubling and tripling Embiid throughout the series. They do not have a true center and are playing against the most dominant big man in the league, so they have to at least double him. The real question the Raptors are trying to answer is who to leave open to double him. With Harden on the court and all the other shooters it’s been almost impossible for them to make the right choice, which is leasing to the Sixers extremely efficient offense. Maxey has been crucial to the success because when the doubles are coming, everyone on the court seems to be looking to get Maxey the ball while the Raptors are scrambling. Maxey is too good of a shooter to not close out on, but too fast to get too close to. He is a perfect answer to the Raptors current defensive scheme and it is clear Embiid and Harden look for him in those situations. Maxey has been blowing by defenders who are out of control trying to close out on his three point shot, while also punishing the Raptors from three for not closing out hard enough. Maxey earned the trust of Embiid all season and in the short time he has been able to play with Harden, and now it is just simply paying off.