PHILADELPHIA–Ever since Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden went down with a right foot tendon strain injury, Tyrese Maxey has had to go back to being the team’s point guard.
The young man out of Kentucky was off to a terrific start shooting the ball, but that was being the team’s main perimeter scorer. Ever since Harden went down and Maxey has had to change his role a bit, the 22-year-old is shooting just 14-for-47 over the first two games without him.
After his shooting struggles in a win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday, coach Doc Rivers is not concerned with Maxey’s struggles.
“New role and he’s young,” said Rivers. “This is where you got to be so careful with young players and he watches the film and he sees all these guys open. I thought he played an entire game predetermining trying to come off to be a passer and I thought he got stuck in that and so it’s not a big change.”
In the first nine games of the season, Maxey shot 51.6% from the floor and 46.8% from deep.
“We got to get him back to you’re a scorer,” Rivers added. “Be a scorer and let us complain about you missing guys, but you got to be an attacker. I thought he tried to turn it on, but we’ll get him back in the right place.”
Maxey has proven that he can quickly adjust to anything and he will likely be able to do the same in this situation. It’s more about being able to understand where his shots are coming from and being able to also run the offense at the same time.
“I think everybody is kinda getting adjusted,” added Tobias Harris. “When you lose a guy like James to injury, it creates more opportunity for guys and now, the basketball is in Tyrese’s hands the majority of the game being a point guard instead of being at the 2-spot. It’s just a matter of adjusting and getting comfortable. I think it’s a small thing, but it’s part of the game.”
Overall, the consensus thought around the Sixers is that they are not worried about Maxey and his poor shooting at the moment. The young man will find a way to get back on track.
“He’ll be fine,” Harris finished. “I think the looks that he’s getting are shots that we know he can make. I do think for some times, he’s getting in the paint and there’s a lot of contact so from time to time, he’s gonna start to get more of those calls and that will kind of shake out some of the shooting percentages, but overall I think in terms of the 3, the shot looks good and he’s getting good looks and he’s still shooting it at a high clip on the year so far so he’ll be fine.”
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