The Philadelphia 76ers had already finished things in the Eastern Conference, as they had number one in their hands, heading for the regular season finale. So, coach Doc Rivers turned to his rookies and let them finish the season, and one rookie in particular stood out.
Tyrese Maxey had a great game with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists as he shot 11-for-19 from the floor in a 128-117 home win over the Orlando Magic. He had 24 points in a 10-on-11 shooting at halftime as Orlando couldn’t stay ahead of him.
“Tyreez was amazing tonight,” said rookie Paul Reed. “It’s not normal to come in as a rookie and score the ball. It̵
One thing that was different about Maxey on Sunday was that he relied less on his floater game. He was aggressive in reaching the basket and making fouls and was able to play very effectively as he only had one turn.
“I think it’s clear we took him off this float,” Rivers smiled. “It’s only night and day and then I think the biggest thing, besides, because we worked on it early. As enough with the float, get to the basket, use your speed. The second thing is that you just have to make mistakes and that’s what he does. “
As a rookie, it is difficult to make adjustments in the middle of the season and continue to work throughout the season. Maxey is one of those rare rookies who will continue to work and appear on the floor from late.
“It was a craft at the beginning of the year,” Rivers continued. “There were no assists, there were turnovers. Now he attacks the basket, gets to the foul, ends up in the basket and when they take it away, he sprays the ball and that’s great. “
Maxey added that adjustments are not easy, but for us to succeed in the NBA, these are things that need to be done. He listened to his coach in this one.
“He tells me he feels I can get to the edge much more than I did earlier in the year, and I agree with him,” the rookie explained. “I feel like I’ve worked on it, watched movies and come up with different ways to get to the shelf.”
Of course, it helps that he is a very training player and is ready to do whatever it takes to do it on the floor.
“The kid’s listening,” Rivers finished. “He straightened his ass, I said earlier. Extremely training, we watched a movie 10 minutes before the game today about some of the defensive things he didn’t do in the last game, and today he came out and made things better. He works. He is good.
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