Tyrese Maxey Has Been Exactly What the Sixers Need

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: v09 dunks the ball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

Tyrese Maxey has been an absolute revelation for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Maxey’s growth as both a scorer and facilitator has been immaculate for the Sixers, especially with the loss of the Sixers’ previous star point guard. With Ben Simmons still refusing to play and Tobias Harris’ rollercoaster of a season, Tyrese Maxey’s significant improvement has been necessary for this 76ers team.

The second-year guard out of Kentucky is the third leading scorer on the Sixers this season, averaging 16.5 points per game, more than double the 8.0 points per game he was scoring his rookie season. His assists per game have also gone up with his larger role, jumping from 2.0 assists to 4.6 assists. Some may say that these are natural increases based on his larger role, when in reality, the biggest improvement of Maxey’s second year is found in his shooting percentages.

With most players, when they are thrust into a larger role, such as going from 15.3 minutes per game to 35.4 minutes per game, efficiency often takes on a downward trend. It’s also thought that when most players who are quickly thrust into the starting lineup, such as going from starting in 13.1% of games (8 starts out 61 games in 2020-2021) to starting 97.5% of games (39 starts out of 40 games in 2021-2022), that efficiency would be on the decline as well. With Tyrese Maxey, that is not the case.

Maxey is currently shooting 46.3% from the field on just over 13 field goals attempted per game. Beyond that, Tyrese Maxey has increased the number of 3s he attempts per game from 1.7 to 3.5 while also significantly improving his 3 point percentage from 30.1% to a fantastic 40.7%. Maxey has improved in every facet of his shooting, increasing his true shooting percentage to 56.0%, another improvement on last year’s 53.1%.

The Kentucky guard has been critical to the 76ers competitiveness this season. He brings much-needed quickness and ball handling to a Sixers team without another true point guard on their roster. Without Maxey being here and improving at the level he has been this year, we’d be running onto the court with “Point Furkan” almost every night. Maxey has the potential to be the best partner Joel Embiid has ever had on the Sixers, and even though he isn’t at that level yet, he is still one of the most important players on this team.