Tyrese Maxey was the brightest spot on Friday for a Philadelphia 76ers team that ultimately lost to the Chicago Bulls 126-112. While the Sixers obviously would have prefered a victory, if there were ever such a thing as a “good loss,” this was that game.
This game could mark the return of the Tyrese Maxey that we all know and love, the Maxey who may be untouchable in every single trade imaginable. The human flamethrower, late-round extraordinaire. This game was the culmination of tons of hard work by Maxey, both in his recovery and restoring his confidence.
Maxey made his first return to a game on December 30th, 2022, against the New Orleans Pelicans. In that game, he had flashes of his incredible ability but was clearly rusty and working his confidence back up. In 19 minutes of play, the former Kentucky guard finished the game with 9 points, a rebound, an assist, and a turnover, while shooting 40.0% from the field. He made one three-pointer as well in the loss.
After his return in the loss against the Pelicans, Maxey’s second game back was a win against the Pelicans on January 2nd. In this game, he increased his scoring total from 9 points last game to 12 points this game on 5/14 from the field and 1/5 from deep in 27 minutes. With this game, it was nice to see Maxey confident in his shot, even when it wasn’t falling. He can catch on fire at any time from deep and the last team this team needs is a guard that’s afraid to shoot.
After the Sixers’ redemption against the New Orleans Pelicans, the 76ers hosted the Indiana Pacers in an overtime thriller where the star of the show was clearly James Harden. With Harden’s fantastic performance, Tyrese Maxey’s night was overlooked but was incredibly necessary. Maxey had an excellent stat line in his third game back.
In 37 minutes (so much for the minutes restriction), Maxey had 17 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 0 turnovers. While his shooting wasn’t the best, going 6/16 from the field and 1/4 from deep, he found ways to involve his teammates and make winning plays. However, despite this quiet and successful night, this wasn’t the true return of Tyrese Maxey.
On January 6th, Tyrese Maxey was the best player for the Sixers in a loss against the Chicago Bulls. In the game, Maxey scored 26 points, dished out 6 assists, and grabbed 3 rebounds, with a 53.3/71.4/83.3 shooting split in 37 minutes of play (again, not much of a minutes restriction). For the first time since returning from injury, Maxey made multiple 3s in a game. He shot 5/7 from deep. He is one of the most important players on the Sixers and has played incredibly well for Philadelphia. Tyrese Maxey is back and will only continue to improve.