In the absence of Ben Simmons and not having their primary point guard at disposal, for now, for well-known reasons, the Philadelphia Sixers are lucky because Tyrese Maxey is slowly but surely proving he can be the next big thing for this squad.
New kid on the block
The Sixers had a challenging game against the Bucks last night in front of their home crowd, where they pretty much opened the game shooting over 60 percent from the field. Tyrese Maxey was leading the charge with 17 points in the first quarter, and the Sixers looked like they could beat the reigning champs despite not having Embiid, Harris, Curry, and Simmons in their starting unit. Maxey finished the game with 31 points, five rebounds, and 4 assists, but that wasn't enough against the experienced Bucks, who were able to snatch a 118-109 win.
After the game, Maxey said he understood he would need to be more aggressive in games like this when they are shorthanded. He is confident in his skill set because he put in countless hours in perfecting his craft.
"Of course tonight I had to be more aggressive than usual," he said after the game. "I don't think tonight was really a confidence-builder for me. I think my confidence comes from the work in the gym, honestly. I feel pretty confident in my shot because I put the time in. Even when it's not falling or even when they're going under, I feel like I'm going to make the shot because of the work that I put in."
Maxey wants to be a two-way player
Interestingly enough, Maxey faced Jrue Holiday, one of the guys in the league he wants to model his game around. Maxey wants to be that player known for scoring and having the ability to lock down the best guards on the opposing teams, a trait that is well respected in today's NBA.
"I've always said since I was coming out of high school that Jrue Holiday was one of the guys I was trying to model my game after," said Maxey. "He's a two-way player, he plays both ends of the basketball court, extremely competitive defensively and extremely skilled offensively, and it was crazy going up against him. I think during my draft process I was telling everybody that I compare myself to Jrue Holiday. So to actually play against him, it was kind of cool."
Maxey's growth as a player is evident when you just look at the stats from this season, in which he is averaging 15.8 points per game to go along 4 rebounds and 5 assists. However, stats tell only half of the story, but if you watched the Sixers closely this season, you could tell this kid is destined for some great things in this league if he continues to stay healthy and work on his craft.
Sixers fans should completely forget about Ben Simmons or even the possible trade destinations and what they can get in return. The reason for that is that they have Maxey on their roster, who has a lot of talent, is a hard worker, loves the game, and, most importantly, is a humble person ready to take on any challenge that is in front of him. There is no question we can expect more games like this from Maxey this season, and that could be a crucial aspect of the Sixers' potential success down the line.