February 6, 2023

Sixers Win Three Straight as Maxey Moves to the Bench

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 76ers are on a three game winning streak after defeating the LA Clippers last night 120-110 behind a monster 41 point performance from Joel Embiid. The 76ers are currently 0.5 games back of the Eastern Conferences number 2 seed after going 16-4 in their last 20 games. But one of the most notable changes has been Tyrese Maxey’s move to the bench over the last two games.

Many 76er fans believe Maxey is a budding star in the NBA, and even possibly the second-best player on the team. So is this something to worry about? Absolutely not. Maxey has somewhat struggled to get back into his usual stride since returning from a foot injury that kept him sidelined for a little over a month. One of the reasons Maxey can come off the bench is because of the depth this roster has.

One of the biggest reasons is the emergence of De’Anthony Melton. Melton stepped into Maxey’s role while he was out and flourished. He brings a good mix of defense and scoring into the starting lineup. Maxey has struggled defensively to being his short career so Melton brings some nice perimeter defense to the starters.

According to Coach Doc Rivers the move to the bench was Maxeys idea. He said the young guard texted him suggesting that he tries Maxey off the bench and he did just that in these last two games in LA. Maxey is widely regarded around the NBA as a rising star of the future so for him to do this shows exactly the kind of person he is. Rivers also talked about how he wants to have three different variations of the starting lineup based off matchups.

While Maxey might start some games off the bench, his minuets most likely wont change. He played 33 minuets against the Lakers and 28 minuets against the Clippers. He was leading the second unit to start the 4th quarter where he caught fire from three to extend their lead and eventually win the game. While the starting lineup is important, the most important is who plays in crunch time minuets down the stretch, and I expect Maxey to still get those minutes.

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