Multiple Sixers praise Tyrese Maxey for his efforts in win over Pistons

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The Philadelphia 76ers were missing their All-Star point guard on Saturday night as Ben Simmons was out due to back tightness. The last time 6-foot-10 guard from Australia missed some time, the Sixers lost four games in a row as they struggled a bit on the offensive end.

In the past, coach Doc Rivers turned to veteran George Hill and Shake Milton in place of Simmons, but on Saturday, he turned to rookie Tyrese Maxey and he did not disappoint.

Maxey went for 22 points and five rebounds with four assists in a 118-104 win over the Detroit Pistons at home. The Pistons had problems all night long of trying to stay in front of him as the pace the rookie played with was an issue.

“We just played a hunch honestly with guys out,” said Rivers. “My thought was we’ve been playing him every game, but last night (Friday) we didn’t play him, because they were big and I thought, the young fella will have energy, and we needed energy in this game. I thought he brought that. I thought he was terrific.”

That is the biggest issue for Philadelphia when Simmons is out. While he is such a terrific defender, they have more than enough defenders to make up for his absence. It is on the offensive end where they continue to have issues and Maxey being able to push the pace is a big help for them without the All-Star.

“That’s what we need,” said Joel Embiid. “That’s huge for us. Obviously, Ben does a great job of it and I mentioned it before, what he does, it’s not about defense, that’s what we miss the most. Just that pace and for Tyrese to come in and be able to do that, that helps us a lot. That helps our shooters, that helps me. We got a bunch of easy baskets and the game just becomes easier.”

Maxey shot 7-for-11 from the floor and he knocked down two of his three attempts from deep while getting to the line seven times. Clearly, this is all still a learning experience for the rookie out of Kentucky, but his recent play has been encouraging considering this has been anything, but a normal rookie season in the NBA.

“I call him Mad Max!” laughed Dwight Howard. “He gets out on the court he causes havoc, he gets downhill, he’s getting to the basket. I think he’s getting his touch and he’s getting a little bit better of a feel for the game of basketball. This year has been really tough for a rookie, no Summer League, not a lot of practices, and stuff like that so for him to come in and do what he’s doing and playing big minutes and guys like Ben and Seth is out. I think he’s stepped up and he’s done a great job. I’m real proud of him.”

Overall, it was a solid night for the rookie and it was a performance the Sixers needed while missing Simmons.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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