PHILADELPHIA–Rising Philadelphia 76ers star Tyrese Maxey is off to a terrific start to his third season in the league. The young man out of Kentucky is averaging 24.2 points and he’s shooting 51.6% from the floor and 46.8% from deep through the first nine games.
He is also averaging 4.3 free-throw attempts per game, albeit shooting just 74.4% from the line, but coach Doc Rivers believes he should be receiving even more free throws on his drives to the basket.
“I still think the officials have to get used to his drives,” said Rivers after a loss to the Washington Wizards. “The whole league, you see what they’re going to do now and they should. They’re riding him out down low because he’s so small. They can kind of ride him out of bounds and I thought he had a bunch of those. He’s making them, but that’s a foul that has to get called at some point.”
When asked about how he feels he is playing right now, Maxey did bring up his poor free-throw shooting to begin the season. Considering he is a career 85.4% free-throw shooter, the 74.4% to begin the season is nowhere near his standards.
“I missed three free throws and I just—I don’t know why I can’t make free throws right now, but that’s just the work,” said Maxey after the loss. “Other than that, just try to stay aggressive and help us win as much as possible. I still have to watch the film and figure it all out and see how we play together and how myself playing as well.”
In terms of whether he feels he gets the whistle or not when he goes to the basket, Maxey isn’t concerned with any of that. The officiating had nothing to do with the fact that Philadelphia allowed the Wizards to shoot 57.7% from the floor on Wednesday.
“I leave my feet so once I leave my feet, I’m vulnerable,” Maxey said of the foul calls. “I just got to make some of them and then try keep my body controlled as much as possible. We don’t make excuses. Honestly, we try not to make any excuses and just go out there and play together as a team. The refs have nothing to do with us giving up 100 and however many points we gave up. So we got to look at ourselves in the mirror first.”
Philadelphia will play host to the New York Knicks on Friday looking to get back on track.
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