WATCH: Tyrese Maxey Scorches Nets in Preseason Debut

Tyrese Maxey Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Just about everything went right for Tyrese Maxey in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ first preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets Monday night.

Maxey’s night bears similarities to an amateur magician: pick a stat, any stat. Interested in point output? Maxey put up a game-high 20 points. Interested in efficiency? Those 20 points game in just 14 minutes on 8-12 shooting from the field and 6-6 from the charity stripe. What about unselfishness? Maxey finished tied for second with three assists, one behind Furkan Korkmaz’s team-high four. Simply put, Maxey was instrumental to Philadelphia’s 127-108 victory in Brooklyn.

It was an electric night from Maxey, whose dominance was put on display in a hype-tape by the Philadelphia 76ers’ own Twitter page:

It was part of a strong showing from half of Philadelphia’s starting backcourt, which featured Maxey and summer addition De’Anthony Melton. And while much was made of Melton’s potential as a secondary ball-handler, fans might want to pump the brakes just a touch on the former Memphis Grizzlies wing.

De’Anthony Melton Had Rough Stretches Against Nets

Over the summer, the Sixers added De’Anthony Melton and his tenacious defense to its secondary rotation. In lineups featuring Melton along with Maxey and James Harden, we can expect Melton to thrive. He’s shot 38.8% from deep over the last two seasons with roughly 10 points per night.

But any ideations that Melton could elevate to be a strong secondary creator were put on hold after Monday night. He finished with three turnovers and nary a single assist in 17 minutes of action. It was a disappointing start from Melton, as PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck wrote on Monday night.

“It was not exactly a sparkling debut for Melton, who showed you some of the limitations we discussed with his game this summer. When you keep him in a simplified role that asks him to attack on straight-line drives and knock down catch-and-shoot jumpers, you’re cooking with gas. Once he becomes one of your primary creative forces, you’re going to get in a bit of trouble,” Neubeck wrote after the game on Monday.

To combat Melton’s lack of playmaking, the Sixers will have to stagger Harden and Maxey’s minutes so that Melton isn’t the lone creator. Otherwise, teams will feast on Philadelphia’s lack of creativity offensively. Fortunately, Melton made up for his lack of offense by recording three steals and a block on the defensive end.

Melton wasn’t the only defensive stud to stall on offense Monday night.

Matisse Thybulle Fails to Make Good on Offensive Promises

Matisse Thybulle’s offense was another angle Sixers fans were eager to see in action on Monday. Throughout training camp, Thybulle was lauded for his offensive adjustments ahead of the new season after struggling for much of last year.

But for all those good vibes, Thybulle failed to deliver. His three points were the fewest among starters and his 2-7 from shooting is a definite eye-sore.

“Matisse Thybulle got the Sixers sales pitch heading into training camp, with plenty of talk about the work he put in and potential improvements that could be in store. Not sure I see much of a difference yet. Thybulle committed silly fouls closing out on shooters, still can’t dribble more than once or twice without fumbling the ball, and watches his active hands turn into stone hands when they switch from defense to offense,” Neubeck bemoaned.

Like Melton, though, Thybulle had a strong showing on defense, recording three steals and a rebound in 19 minutes of action.

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