Tyrese Maxey has found his footing after returning to starting lineup

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey, right, drives to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks’ Jrue Holiday during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)

Over his last three games, Tyrese Maxey is averaging 27.3 points, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 rebounds for the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s shooting 60.0% from the field, 52.9% from three, and 100% from the free-throw line in that time. He has proved that he is truly back. So, what changed? Maxey had been hot and cold as of late, showing flashes of his immense potential but so often getting lost. That seems to have officially changed since being reinstated as a starter by head coach Doc Rivers.

In theory, having a player of Tyrese Maxey’s caliber coming off of the bench should be a luxury. However, moving Maxey to the bench hasn’t seemed to work out as planned. Nearly every single statistic for Maxey decreases when he comes off the bench.

The third-year guard has averaged 15.9 points per game when coming off the bench. He’s averaging 23.1 points per game as a starter. 2.6 assists per game off the bench compared to 4.2 as a starter. His field goal percentage increased from 45.0% to 47.0%. His three-point percentage skyrockets from 37.0% to 41.0%. Maxey is so much better than a bench role, and his designation between starter and bench player directly affects his and the team’s performance.

The Miami Heat Game

After being demoted to the bench unit, a combination of fit and personnel allowed Tyrese Maxey to enter the starting lineup once again; he joined Harden, Melton, Harris, and Tucker to open the game for the Sixers. With Joel Embiid sitting this one out, someone needed to step up as the leading scorer for Philadelphia.

Tyrese Maxey was that player. He finished with a game-high 27 points, four rebounds, and seven assists while going 4/7 from deep. Along with James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Paul Reed, who all performed exceptionally, Tyrese Maxey and the Sixers were able to steal a win in Miami, 119-96.

The Dallas Mavericks Game

After his excellent game against the Heat, Tyrese Maxey was once again given a chance to start. With the return of Joel Embiid to the lineup, De’Anthony Melton was moved to the bench. The former Kentucky guard responded in a big way. Maxey scored 29 points on 12/21 shooting from the field and 3/5 shooting from deep.

Despite Maxey’s incredible game and the excellent return of Joel Embiid (35 points), the Philadelphia 76ers were unable to find a way to win.

The Milwaukee Bucks Game

Against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tyrese Maxey remained in the starting lineup yet again. The Sixers struggled for much for the first three quarters. However, it was Maxey’s electric scoring ability (12 third-quarter points) that allowed the team to stay in the game and eventually even beat the Bucks.

While the Sixers boasted a 13-6 record in games where Maxey came off the bench, they are now 2-1 over these past three games where they’ve faced some of the top competition in the NBA, including the league-leading Bucks.

Maxey has had statement game after statement game since returning to the lineup, reminding everyone that he should be starting.