As we are steadily approaching the end of the regular season, teams are shifting their focus to the playoffs. All the contenders are deciding how deep and which players will make the cut when rotations shrink.
Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has yet to give a number on how many guys he intends to play come playoffs. Having a limited roster due to injury has made this decision harder, as Rivers has had to go deep into his bench in the team's recent stretch.
One player that has recently seen some extended minutes is rookie Tyrese Maxey. The 2020 first-round pick has seen his second-highest minutes per game in a month this season. Maxey is also having his second-highest scoring month, averaging 7.7 points per game in April.
Seeing the spark, Maxey has been able to bring off the bench has created speculation around him playing in the postseason. Before Monday's game against the Thunder, Rivers would give his input on potentially playing the rookie.
"I don't know if he's gonna be in a regular rotation or not, but I have no doubt he'll play in the playoffs. I'm fully confident of that, and I'm fully confident of him. When the playoffs start, we'll see who will play. But I would have no hesitation in putting him in," said Rivers on Monday.
With the addition of George Hill, it's pretty clear who will be assuming the backup point guard duties come playoffs. Having a guy like Maxey in his back pocket could be a secret weapon for Rivers.
While it would have to be situational, Maxey could be of use in the playoffs. His ability to up the tempo and get to the rim might come in handy if the team needs a jolt of energy.
Rivers has given Maxey praise for his work all season, so a comment like this is not shocking. Most contending teams might not want to roll the dice on a 20-year-old in the playoffs, but Maxey has yet to meet a moment that was too big for him.