The Philadelphia 76ers rolled out a different starting lineup in Sunday’s 113-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. They started De’Anthony Melton in place of Tyrese Maxey alongside the other usual four starters.
When the season began, the projected starting lineup was James Harden, Maxey, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, and Joel Embiid. That lineup has played only 11 games together due to a variety of injuries up and down the roster so Philadelphia has had to mix and match with the lineups.
The Harden-Maxey duo has not been great defensively as the Sixers have had issues defending opposing guards with that combination. So Maxey and the Sixers decided to make a change.
“Tyrese actually texted me about this in the part about him,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “I didn’t go to him. He went to me which was really nice.”
Maxey then seemed to confirm what Rivers had said.
“Yeah,” Maxey started. “I mean, sometimes, you gotta be the bigger person. I felt like it was kind of trending toward that way, but I’m a professional at the end of the day. I feel like I am a starter in this league, but I feel like our team is so good that I think we have multiple people starting.”
Maxey had 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting off the bench in the win over the Lakers and he ended up playing 33 minutes which is on par with his season average of 34.4 minutes per game. Even though he will be coming off the bench, he is still going to get his minutes.
“With Tyrese, he knows he’s gonna play 30 minutes, 35, he knows he’s gonna get his minutes regardless,” Rivers added. “So you know what we tell everybody, I’d rather be at the end of the game than at the beginning of the game, and that’s the lineups that we will have to really have great focus on.”
Maxey might not be a starter at the moment, but as long as the Sixers win, that’s what he is deciding to focus on.
“At the end of the day, I played like 33 minutes so I mean, it is what it is,” he finished. “I go out there and play. Do whatever they need me to do to win. So we won. That’s what matters.”
Russell Westbrook believes he was fouled by Joel Embiid in Sixers win
Sixers to have both James Harden, Tobias Harris in lineup vs. Lakers
James Harden, Tobias Harris are questionable for Sixers vs. Lakers