Sixers Rookie Tyrese Maxey Earns Praise From Doc Rivers Despite Loss to Nets

Tyrese Maxey was a diamond in the rough on Thursday.
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Doc Rivers wasn't thrilled with the Philadelphia 76ers' performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. Although the Nets came into the matchup missing two of their key stars in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the 76ers failed to take advantage. And instead, they took a disappointing 122-109 loss.

Rivers believes the 76ers deserved Thursday night's loss, and it's hard to argue that fact. While losing is unfortunate and doesn't give anybody on the Sixers anything to celebrate, Rivers did have a sense of encouragement regarding his rookie first-round guard Tyrese Maxey after the game.

"He played great," Rivers said about Maxey after the loss. "I mean, I thought he was the one guy that came into the game with great energy and tried to run stuff for us. So, I'm very happy with him." 

With a shorthanded roster putting Shake Milton in the starting lineup, Maxey earned himself 20 minutes off the bench on Thursday night. During his time on the floor, Maxey was a plus-seven as he drained seven of his 12 shots from the field, totaling for a new career-high of 16 points.

"My mindset was to just try to go in and help us win," Maxey said after his big night. "That's always my mindset, whatever the circumstances are. That's my role on this team is to try to be a sparkplug and help the team in whatever way it needs to be helped."

Unfortunately, not much could help the sloppy Sixers on Thursday night. Although Maxey and the shorthanded bench unit offered some meaningful minutes against the Nets, the Sixers' starters didn't do themselves any favors as they accounted for 19 of the 76ers' 20 turnovers in Brooklyn. Thursday's performance was a forgettable one for Philly as a whole -- but at least Maxey's solo contributions were memorable

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_