Tyrese Maxey Issues Strong Statement on Former Teammate as Sixers Eye Playoffs

Tyrese Maxey Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Not every ending has to be an acrimonious one. Just ask Philadelphia 76ers star guard Tyrese Maxey, whose partnership with fellow Kentucky Wildcats guard Immanuel Quickley ended with both getting drafted to the NBA in 2020.

In fact, Maxey (No. 21) went just four spots ahead of his Bluegrass teammate (No. 25) to a team in Maxey’s own division, the New York Knicks.

Since then, the two players have steadily risen the NBA ladder; while Quickly isn’t a starter in New York, he’s certainly been crucial to the Knicks’ recent nine-game win streak. And count Sunday night’s rousing win over the Celtics among them; Quickley unloaded for 38 points against Boston in the Knicks’ double OT win.

After the game, Maxey took to social media to congratulate his former teammate.

Over the Knicks’ nine-gam streak, Quickley has been on a tear. He’s up to 18.8 points per game on 46% from three.

Both the Knicks and Sixers are eyeing a deep postseason run. What’s more, both teams are fresh off big wins against heavyweights in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks handled business Sunday against the Celtics, while the Sixers snatched a 133-130 win over the Bucks on Saturday.

Maxey Excelling in Role as Sixers Starter

Since being inserted back into the starting lineup by Doc Rivers, Maxey has been on a tear of his own.

Over his last three games, Maxey is up to 27.3 points per night on 52.9% from three. Of course, it helps to get more reps with Joel Embiid and James Harden than, say, Shake Milton.

“I think the biggest difference is I can find rhythm,” Maxey said of the difference between starting and coming off the bench, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “Maybe get a shot to go in early. A pass from Jo (Embiid) or James (Harden) and then when I stay out of the second group, and I’m by myself, I feel more comfortable so I’ve had the ball I’ve already got a shot in, but you gotta be adaptable.”

Maxey certainly plays better with Embiid and Harden on the floor with him. Lineups featuring that trio are outscoring opponents by 9.4 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. That figure drops to a minus-3.2 differential when Embiid and Harden sit, but Maxey remains.

But Maxey is finding his own gear as a leader in this Sixers lineup. For two straight games now, Maxey’s been instrumental in comebacks against playoff-caliber opponents in the Bucks and Mavericks.

In fact, against Dallas last week, Maxey was the only starter to post a positive net rating on the game, the lone bright spot during a night to forget.

Maxey Needs to Step Up in Tucker & Harris’ Absence

Maxey’s stride couldn’t come at a better time for the Sixers.

During the Bucks showdown, both Tobias Harris and PJ Tucker went down with injuries. After the game, Rivers was unable to provide a timetable for the starters’ returns.

“I have no idea,” Rivers said, per Ky Carlin of SixersWire. “My guess, if I was a guessing man, yes, just watching them in the locker room, but we have 48 hours. So, you know, these guys are different.”

Maxey and the Sixers face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, the front end of a back-to-back.