Sixers: 3 takeaways from Game 2 loss to Heat

James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
James Harden, Sixers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Sixers-Heat Game 2 takeaways: The chaos of Tyrese Maxey

In the first half of Game 2, it looked like Miami had the 21-year-old from Kentucky figured out. The Heat’s switch-heavy scheme erased a lot of clean shot opportunities for Maxey, and it felt like his one-note approach to offense started catching up to him. Then came the second half, and Maxey was at his most marvelous — finishing the game with a team-high 34 points and torching Miami’s elite defense from every angle.

Game 2 was the perfect microcosm of Maxey: he’s young and inconsistent, he doesn’t really impact the game outside of scoring, but when he’s hot, he’s a comet hurdling through the sky — something you just sit back and gaze at in wonderment.

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Maxey’s improvement arc cannot be overstated. He was an unreliable and mostly average rookie playing scarce bench minutes last season. Now, he’s the primary scorer in Embiid’s absence and Philadelphia’s greatest spark in transition. He’s a rare breed — a speedster with elite shooting touch and a dynamic in-between game. We’ve seen players like John Wall and De’Aaron Fox hit a ceiling because they can’t shoot. Because defenses can just load up the paint and force them into inefficient jump shots. Maxey has that same blinding speed, but he’s also shooting 42.7 percent from deep.

He will only get better from here. Maxey’s still prone to quiet nights and defensive lapses, but in time, there’s no reason he can’t make the leap to full-blown stardom. He has shown the desire to improve and expand his game at every turn. He is already elite attacking of the catch and torching defenses in transition, but perhaps by next season, the Sixers can really rely on Maxey to run the offense and start impacting the game beyond his own scoring. He has the perfect mentor in master floor general James Harden, and there’s no doubt the coaching staff will keep pushing Maxey in the right direction.