Many key members of the Philadelphia 76ers have become tired of the realities of life in the NBA.
Their ability is sometimes questioned even though they have been playing professional basketball together for decades. Sometimes their abilities and resilience are questioned. They approach the season with restrained behavior, which offers little hint of the joy they will find in the game they play for a living.
Next is Tyrese Maxey.
Იs laughs. He smiles. His most common facial expression is a smile. Laughs at teammates.
However, Max’s game on the court betrays it a bit. With veteran stars and a coach on a team that everyone has something to prove, Max is a pillar whose steady play from time to time covers the team’s mistakes.
On Sunday night, the 76ers did not need Max’s heroic play to combine the Heath from the top seven of the playoff series into two games each, even as Miami Jimmy Butler averaged 40 points in Philadelphia 116-108. But Maxim still made a difference in Game 4: he scored 18 points, took all six free kicks and helped the 76ers maximize their star-strong performances.
The Sixers top players – center Joel Embid and defender James Harden – combined for 55 points, with Embid scoring 15 points in the first quarter, Harden scoring 13 in the second and both playing important games when the game failed. Harden’s 18 points in the second half included four 3 points.
Maxey has established himself as part of the team engine.
The 76ers are driven by their own stars, but when the stars are limited by injuries or game failures, Philadelphia was able to count on Max. This was his second season in the NBA and his first as a full-time. He was part of the Philadelphia starting rotation last year and played limited minutes in the 2021 playoffs.
However, he made a direct contribution this post-season. Maxim 76ers scored 38 points in 38 games in the opening round series against the Toronto Raptors, thus strengthening Philadelphia when Harden’s game was inconsistent.
“I saw growth,” Harden said of Max that day. “I have seen from both the top and the bottom that last year I did not have consistent minutes starting in the post-season and playing a big role in the team of the championship contender. He was just quietly there and taking pictures when they were open. He received attacks when they were available. He just did the right game, whatever he does.
“She is extremely confident. This is what we will need in the future. ”
Maxim made almost triple doubles in the second game of this series, 23 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Philadelphia won Toronto in six games, while Maxim scored 25 points at the clinic.
His next best game in the playoffs was in the second game against the Heat. While it is said that young players and role players tend to shoot better at home, Maxim scored 54.5 per cent and scored 34 points in Miami. Philadelphia played the second game in a row without an embryo due to a concussion and facial injury.
In the 76ers’ 3rd game win over the Heat, Embid returned to the fold, with Maxim scoring 21 points in the second half after not scoring in the first. He was 5-5 out of the 3-point range after the half and scored seven of eight goals in the second half.
“I started being aggressive,” Maxim said of his shift in the second half. “I give the game the right to come to me.”
He averaged 17.5 points per game in the regular season, while averaging 22 points in the playoffs while playing more minutes. Higher bets and a heavier load – about 41 minutes per game now, compared to 35 minutes per regular season game – can be too much for many young players. But that was not the case for Max.
The 76ers expected such a game from him, so much so that defender Danny Green referred to Max with the same breath as Embid and Harden when discussing the products of Philadelphia’s key players during a recent post-game interview on TNT.
Maxim showed his maturity on the pitch late Sunday in the game, with Philadelphia 6 points ahead and Miami’s final push stopped.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Harden missed a powerful floater and Embid took the rebound and handed it to Green. He took the ball towards Max beyond the 3-point arc and looked at Maxim Square with such a studied look that he often finds it easier to meet veterans. He saw Tobias Harris on the free baseline, across the field, and threw him a dead-end pass with 1 minute and 40 seconds left.
After the game, Max’s youthful enthusiasm returned. He conducted his post-game interview with Harry, a forward eight years older than Max. Before the interview, Max joked about how he sat in the dressing room and thought about life.
The reporter asked a question and Harris started talking. His voice was harsh and Max jumped to his seat. Harris smiled as he continued, later explaining that he had lost his voice after being hit in the throat.
A few minutes later, something hit Max so hard that both hands covered his mouth to quell the laughter.
In those moments it was easy to remember that Max was only 21 years old. The fact that he is playing beyond the years spent on the court hinted at the 76ers being the third star of the future.