With about 1:02 left in the second quarter of Tyrese Maxey’s debut in Kentucky, he took a shot that most would shy away from. A 3 taken from Europe, Maxey started his college career with a historic performance. Scoring 26 in his first college game, he led Kentucky to a victory over Michigan.
Months later, Maxey heard his name being called by the NBA Commissioner as the 21st pick in the draft. By all accounts, this was a steal for the Sixers. Multiple draft analysts had him going higher on their boards. Maxey’s game coming out of college was smooth and full of swagger. He already had a signature shot, the floater.
Maxey’s rookie season has been nothing short of impressive so far. He’s a solid scorer off the bench and provides decent ball handling. In the halfcourt, Maxey has a strong ability to get to the rim with a burst of speed. Fellow Sixer Ben Simmons could learn a thing or two from the rook (half joking here).
Maxey’s best game came against the Denver Nuggets where he scored 39(!) points in his first start as a rookie. Granted, he played about 40+ minutes but still that’s outstanding. Less than a month through the NBA season and he’s scored more in a game than Ben Simmons ever has(sorry Ben). In this game, Maxey’s touch for the mid range really shined. Denver decided to go under on Maxey’s screens and he consistently made them pay.
The 39 points scored by Maxey are the most in a game by a Sixers rookie since Allen Iverson(!) in 1997. That’s lovely company to be in.
Every time Maxey steps on the court, there’s joy among Sixer fans of what the future may hold. Maxey has great potential to be that third star the Sixers have been looking for. Of course, development isn’t linear and he’ll have bad games like any other player in the NBA. The fact that he wasn’t able to be traded for Harden shows you his value and what the team thinks of him.
In the meantime, look for Maxey’s smile. It comes a lot in games and it just fills you up with glee, man. Along with Matisse and Furky, Maxey already has one of the best smiles on the team. The night he was drafted he immediately became a fan favorite and this was well deserved.
I think we can all agree when I say that the future is bright for the Sixers. Maxey undoubtedly will be a part of that future and if all the cards are played right, will help produce Philly’s first modern NBA championship team.