A few years ago, I wrote an article stating that Tyrese Maxey was a special talent and that given the chance, he would become a star in the NBA. Ladies and gentlemen, let me be the first of many to say it: The Tyrese Maxey plane has finally landed. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Sixers.
Everything that Daryl Morey saw in Maxey when he was drafted with the 21st pick in the 2020 draft, and the “everyone but him” tag that was placed upon him when Maxey was mentioned in trade talks have proven to be right after all. Maxey has improved statistically every year, from 8.0 points per game as a rookie, to now a career-best 25.4 points per game. He continues to shoot over 50% from the field, shooting a career-high 90% from the free throw line, and averages seven assists per game as well, another career high.
And the scary part is: at only 23, he could get better.
This is a breath of fresh air for the Philadelphia 76ers. After failing to develop such players as the much-maligned Ben Simmons, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, the head-scratching case of Markelle Fultz, and countless others, to see Maxey flourish now in his fourth season gives the Sixers two bonafide stars. Maxey and Embiid, can compete and possibly get them out of the second-round dungeon.
Yes, the Sixers have not seen the Eastern Conference Finals since Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella records still existed, and another ultra-quick guard with braids led the charge. However, with Maxey’s emergence, the Sixers may finally have a chance to reach the promised land.
Let’s not forget: Joel Embiid is still playing at an elite level, averaging 31.7 points per game, currently leading the league in scoring for a third consecutive year. Embiid has been on a historic tear over these last three years that shouldn’t be ignored, but it goes under the radar because of his post-season failures.
Again, we’re only seven games into the season, but the returns so far have been enormously successful. With the Sixers beating their arch nemesis in the Boston Celtics last night, it is showing us that a turn of fortunes may have happened with this team.
Tyrese Maxey has been the main catalyst for it all.