The Philadelphia 76ers didn't have ideal playing circumstances for Saturday's game. As starting shooting guard Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday when the Sixers were taking on the Brooklyn Nets on the road, the entire team had to quarantine in New York until late Friday night.
After arriving back to Philly at 1 am, Saturday morning, the team wasn't sure if they'd have a game or not. With a 3 pm tip-off against the Denver Nuggets on the schedule, the game was on the verge of getting postponed.
The NBA decided the Sixers had enough players available to allow the show to go on. Although having seven healthy players isn't an ideal scenario, the 76ers had to work with what they had. As expected, the Sixers failed to come out on top over the Nuggets. However, the performance put on by their rookie guard Tyrese Maxey was surely something for fans and the Sixers' organization itself to be excited about.
But it wasn't just Sixers fans who enjoyed watching Maxey ball. Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant was tuned in on Saturday and took to Twitter to applaud Maxey's performance. Also, Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade gave props to the young guard after the Sixers wrapped up their game on Saturday evening.
Ever since he started coming off the bench for the Sixers this season, Maxey has established himself as an intriguing prospect for the future. On Thursday night against the Nets, the rookie had arguably his best performance as an NBA guard as he drained a career-high of 16 points heading into Saturday's game.
On Saturday, Maxey blew that career-high out of the water. With a shorthanded roster, Maxey was allowed the opportunity to pick up 43 minutes of playing time on Saturday against the Nuggets.
Although his contributions couldn't help his team come out on top, Maxey's 39-point effort was quite impressive, considering it was just his tenth game in the NBA. So impressive that he even has NBA legends posting about it on their Instagram.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_