Tyrese Maxey’s NBA debut was full of electricity

BATON ROUGE, LA – FEBRUARY 18: Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey (3) dribbles the ball during a game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on February 18, 2020. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire)

Tyrese Maxey had a near-perfect Sixers debut.

Heading into the NBA draft, Sixers fans hadn’t dedicated much time to imagining Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey playing in Philadelphia. The standout freshman was universally projected to be a lottery pick, and the likelihood of him slipping all the way down to pick #21 (where the Sixers picked at) seemed incredibly unlikely.

However, Maxey did slip, and he slipped hard. For reasons unknown, the dynamic two-way guard fell all the way to Daryl Money, and the newly hired executive was quick to snatch him up when the Sixers were on the clock. Adding him to a backcourt that was already getting revamped with the likes of recently acquired Danny Green and Seth Curry – the hype surrounding Maxey was real.

Many felt the Sixers snagging Maxey was the “steal of the draft“, especially considering Philly’s ever prominent need for guard play.

While the hype around Maxey was high following the draft, it wasn’t until the Sixers’ first preseason game that fans were able to adequately appreciate the first-round pick. Making his first appearance in an NBA jersey, Maxey impressed.

Finishing the night with 12 minutes of game time, Maxey recorded 8 points, 3 assists, and 1 rebound. He was 4-6 from the floor, primarily dominating in way of attacking the basket, frequently leaning on his “floater” in traffic. His ball-handling skills immediately stood out, as he navigated around defenders with ease.

For what it’s worth, Maxey exclusively played in the fourth quarter, which is very much “garbage time” when it comes to the preseason. However, his impact was impressive nevertheless. Operating in a whacky, shortened offseason, rookies’ transition to NBA play this year has been brutal. Whether it was “garbage time” or not, Matey’s ability to come in and immediately produce against the Boston Celtics of all teams is undoubtedly impressive.

Maxey appears to be behind the likes of Shake Milton (who also had a phenomenal first preseason game) and Furkan Korkmaz when it comes to the rotation, but that will likely change as the season progresses. If he keeps playing the way he did against Boston, he’ll almost definitely overtake Korkmaz.

Overall? Maxey’s first taste of NBA action was electric. He looked like he belonged, and that’s a super promising sign for the Sixers – something for fans to get excited about moving forward.