With Embiid Out, Tyrese Maxey Steps in to Provide Sixers a Boost
Sixers rookie guard Tyrese Maxey was built for moments like the NBA playoffs.
"He is a hell of a player, he has found himself," Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said.
Through five games of the first round of the playoffs, Maxey has come off-the-bench and averaged nine points in 15.4 minutes per game.
He has been a great spark off the bench for the Sixers, and that was no different in Wednesday’s closeout win over the Wizards. Maxey was at his best, finishing with 13 points in 26 minutes with the team missing Joel Embiid.
"I just wanted to go out there and help the team win," Maxey said after the Game 5 win. "Whatever it took, whatever they asked me to do, that's what I went out there and did."
Maxey had another great performance in Game 4 when he ended with a career playoff high 15 points in just 21 minutes of play.
In two games with Embiid missing time, Maxey has seen his scoring rise, averaging 14 points per game in 23 minutes per game.
The Sixers did lose that game, but the rookie guard stepped up and showed head coach Doc Rivers he belonged and that the moment wasn't too big for him.
Rivers commented that it was Maxey's defense that kept him off the court during the season.
"He was our worst defender," Rivers admitted.
Maxey said he has been watching film, asking teammates and coaches to try to improve on that end of the floor, which could give him more playing time.
Because of Embiid's injury, Maxey has been tasked with more minutes, with the Sixers using Ben Simmons more at the center spot and could be asked to have a larger role in the upcoming series with the Hawks.
"We can't round two," Maxey said.
If the Sixers want to make a deep playoff run with Embiid out, they will need Maxey to continue providing that spark off the bench.
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