Philadelphia 76ers hit the lottery with Tyrese Maxey

Tyrese Maxey | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tyrese Maxey | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Tyrese Maxey explodes in Sixers win

Once the Nuggets game began, Maxey had the time and ability to exhibit his skill and talent. The only true ball handler on the depleted roster, he took control of the game early. He drove the lane and scored in traffic. He dribbled around screens and pulled up for mid-range jumpers. He pulled up for three with confidence and made three out of eight shots.

His body control was more similar to a savvy veteran than 20-year-old rookie. Contorting his body to create space for an easier shot on some plays, it looked as if he had been playing in the league for several years. His crisp pump fakes and quick decisions in scoring situations made his stock jump exponentially compared to his teammates on the floor, who seemed a step behind Maxey in some instances.

In case you didn’t catch the game, what was missed is the start of something special. Maxey’s final box score? 39 points to go along with seven boards and six assists. It was the highest scoring game by a 76ers rookie since Allen Iverson put up 40 points in 1997.

Keep in mind, the Sixers were the team without its premier players. Denver had all of its stars, including Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. How could such a young player burden the heavy load of scoring when his most offensively productive teammates did not even touch the floor? The question is as astounding as the results.

If this game is only a glimpse into what Tyrese Maxey can bring to Philadelphia, the fans are yearning for the bigger picture. What could that include? Even more scoring off the bench to go with Shake Milton? Could he secure a starting role in the near future and provide a more dynamic option in the offense? Imagine a quick switch of Maxey and Danny Green to start subsequent games. Maxey as a creator when the shot clock is running down as Joel Embiid is double teamed should tantalize Philly fans. Whether he finishes with his floater or drives all the way to the rim, Maxey demonstrates a fearlessness and passion for scoring that is reminiscent of the original Sixers son — Allen Iverson.