Sixers pushing Tyrese Maxey to stay aggressive after loss to Heat
PHILADELPHIA–Not a lot went right for the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night when they played host to the Miami Heat. Their execution down the stretch was poor, they missed their first nine shots of the fourth quarter, and they committed 20 turnovers overall in a 101-99 loss.
If there was one positive that came out of this one for the Sixers, it’s the play of Tyrese Maxey.
Maxey broke out of his slump a bit as he scored 23 points, 14 coming in the third quarter, and he did a good job of getting to his spots. He was able to get to the basket due to his speed off the dribble and he was able to regain his 3-point stroke shooting 4-for-8 from deep on the night.
“It’s good to see,” said Joel Embiid. “I told him to build on it and told him when I mean aggressive, I don’t mean just jacking up shots. Make plays for yourself, for your teammates, get them easy shots. and I thought tonight, he was doing the right thing. Looking for his and as far as being aggressive and then also making the right plays.”
Embiid had a message for Maxey after the loss to the Boston Celtics where the third-year guard out of Kentucky struggled. He stated that the Sixers won’t do anything without Maxey being aggressive and that Philadelphia needed him to bounce back.
“When the best player in the world, probably, when he believes in you and you believe in yourself, you’re good against the world I think,” said Maxey. “I’ve been saying it since day one, he’s instilled faith in me and still believes in me, has confidence in me to where I can go out there and play freely. So, I appreciate him for that.”
The key to Maxey’s game is always aggression. He has to be attacking the basket and taking advantage of any open looks he can get when taking a defender off the dribble. That is what Embiid and the Sixers are pushing him to do.
“I tried to be overly aggressive,” Maxey added. “Not trying to force the issue, but dang near just trying to be so aggressive that coach had to pull me back a little bit and I think that’s the way I had to play.”
The Sixers did receive a bit of a scare at the end of the third quarter when Maxey fell on Heat guard Victor Oladipo’s foot which sent him to the ground between the third and fourth quarters and grabbing at his ankle. It was a play in which coach Doc Rivers thought Oladipo should have been called for a flagrant foul, but Maxey believes he’s going to be OK.
“I’m alright,” he said. “It was kind of funny. I rolled it in the first half and then I did on that play too. I think I tried the jump shot and landed on his foot, but it’s good. It’s alright.”
Maxey and the Sixers will look to bounce back in a rematch with the Heat in Miami on Wednesday night.
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