Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey was easily the team’s most improved player this past season. After Maxey was in and out of the rotation during his rookie year, the young guard was promoted to starting point guard to start his sophomore year.
Maxey’s spot in the starting lineup wasn’t guaranteed to remain permanent. As Philly’s former three-time All-Star Ben Simmons refused to step foot on the court, Maxey replaced him temporarily. However, Maxey’s second-year emergence earned him a permanent spot in the starting lineup even when Simmons was dealt, and James Harden arrived in Philadelphia.
In his second NBA season, Maxey doubled his production and showed significant improvement in his shooting and playmaking abilities. While he was slightly inconsistent down the stretch of his team’s playoff run, Maxey still proved he belonged and has a bright future ahead of him.
Following the Sixers’ Game 6 loss, which ended their season last week, Maxey revealed three words to sum up his 2021-2022 run: Not Good Enough. While Sixers head coach Doc Rivers urged everybody to celebrate Maxey's season, the soon-to-be third-year guard isn’t taking any moral victories for himself. Instead, he’s entering the offseason motivated to come back even better next year.
“I just gotta be better,” said Maxey. “That phrase is gonna stick with me this entire summer and onto next year of not good enough. I just wasn’t good enough.”
Maxey has a reputation of being one of, if not the hardest worker on the Sixers’ roster. Before he even had a chance to fully digest the playoff loss last week, Maxey already had a rough draft of a blueprint in his head of what he plans to work on during the offseason.
“Some things that just, in my head, stick out right now is being able to try to facilitate for others a little bit more,” said Maxey. “I think I got a little bit better at that. Especially at the beginning of the year when I had the ball in my hands a lot more. Of course, off the dribble shooting. I worked a lot on catch and shoot because I knew I was gonna be playing with Joel, Tobias, I didn’t know if Ben was gonna play or not, but I was preparing to play with him as well, and then James came in. He created a lot of catch and shoot opportunities for me.”
Maxey has shown tons of improvement in year two as a catch-and-shoot guard. Now, the young veteran wants to improve his handle and creating his own offense, which is something that can go a long way for the Sixers as they look to come back better for the 2022-2023 season.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
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