With Ben Simmons absent, 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey takes advantage of the increased opportunity

There’s an old adage in sports: One player’s absence is another’s opportunity. That was definitely the case for Philadelphia 76ers this season, as the second year guard Tyrese Maxey is blossoming as the defender of the team’s starting point in vacancy left by Ben Simmons.

Maxey shot to the limelight in a limited rookie role last season. Recall his 39-point game performance first miner in Denver in January of his first career? Here’s a quick refresh in case you don’t:

This season, however, Maxey is getting a steady stream of playtime – and plenty of it – and his output has skyrocketed as a result. Last season, he averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 15.3 minutes per take. This season, he plays 35.7 minutes per game, averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds.

The stats will probably go up as a guy gets significantly more playing time, but aside from the raw numbers, Maxey’s efficiency has also improved. He shoots 52% from the pitch after converting on a 46% clip last season and he’s hit 43% of 3s this season – up from 30% in his rookie campaign. As a result, his effective scoring rate has increased from 49 to 57%. This improvement in efficiency is impressive considering the huge jump in the role that Maxey has taken on.

Maxey’s maturity can be seen everywhere. His finishing, shooting and play have all improved compared to last season. Given how well he has it in his hand, he does a commendable job of tending the ball – he’s averaged just 1.3 passes per game this season. Even his defense has taken a step forward. He doesn’t have the size or strength of Simmons, but he’s quick, he plays hard at that bottom of the floor, and he shows a willingness to take on the league’s elite.

His development as a long-range shooter is especially promising for the Sixers, who always need distance between surrounding floors. Joel Embiid – although they haven’t had much of that from the point guard in recent years. At the start of this season, Maxey has shown no hesitation in capturing and shooting situations. Instead of waiting to receive the ball after Philadelphia secured a solid defense against Denver this week, Maxey ran to the flanks to create space for his teammates. When the ball is rotated towards him, he quickly switches:

He is also growing in confidence in long-range shots. In this play from a similar game to Denver, Maxey dribbles into some open space behind the word screen Tobias Harris and without hesitation rose up and opened fire:

There are also invisible improvements. When Maxey was recently asked where he thinks he has grown the most this season, his answer was a leader. “I think more confidence, leadership, voice, voice,” Maxey said of his self-improvement after Philadelphia’s 118-109 loss to Milwaukee Bucks in the first day of this month.

“I think at the beginning of the year, I don’t want to say scared, but I’m very timid when it comes to speaking my mind or speaking my mind. Or trying to lead with my voice,” he added. “I think I’ve become a bit more comfortable with it now. I’m just trying to do my best to help us win.”

Maxey’s teammates and coaches have been full of praise for the young keeper – especially for his poise at such a young age (he’s just legally eligible to buy a beer in London). Philadelphia earlier this month).

“The child is not real,” Sixers forward Georges Niang talking about Maxey after the Milwaukee game. “When I think about what I did at the age of 21, it wouldn’t be possible to score 31 points in one NBA game and can play for many minutes and walk every day with a smile on your face. The kid has a lot of energy and a lot of pizazz. He’s very composed and I’m happy for him as things are going with our team, which has allowed him to grow in his career.

“Who knows if things were different that he would have had this opportunity and I like that he’s maximizing it. Because he can go in to do what he does every day and take ownership of it, and everyone is on top of him. Tyrese doesn’t ‘don’t get any grace from anybody, and he gets it on his chin and he keeps growing and getting better and it shows. ”

Once again, absences present opportunities in the sports world. With his play and attitude, Maxey has earned the trust of his teammates, and that trust has given him the strength to play with more confidence.

“As long as my teammates trust me, my teammates talk to me,” added Maxey, addressing what has helped his development. “Especially like older men like Danny [Green], Georges, Joel, Tobias, Seth [Curry]. They help me a lot. They really help me a lot. They stuck with me, they really helped me, and they said they believed in me. When those people say they believe in you, you just go out there, you play the game and you try to help them do whatever it takes to win. “

At 21, it’s only fair to be excited about Maxey’s potential, as his ceiling is obviously very high. However, he seems to be proving that he can rightfully help the Sixers in the present. One-month’s worth of games is a small sample size and his production will obviously need to be maintained, but Maxey really starts to look like a permanent solution for Philadelphia in the spot guard. , regardless of how Simmons’ situation plays out in the end.

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/in-ben-simmons-absence-76ers-tyrese-maxey-taking-advantage-of-increased-opportunity/ With Ben Simmons absent, 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey takes advantage of the increased opportunity


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