Sam Cassell Opens up on Work Ethic of Sixers Breakout Star

Philadelphia 76ers, Tyrese Maxey

Getty Assistant coach Sam Cassell of the Philadelphia 76ers speaks with Tyrese Maxey #0.

Heading into last season, the Philadelphia 76ers found themselves in a rather bizarre predicament. Following an underwhelming performance in the postseason, Ben Simmons decided he wanted a new change of scenery. While Daryl Morey weighed his options on a suitable return, the former No. 1 pick distanced himself from the team.

With a gaping hole in his starting lineup, Doc Rivers turned to Tyrese Maxey to fill the void of the three-time All-Star. What started out as an unfortunate circumstance proved to be a launching pad for the second-year guard’s career. Maxey burst on the scene and quickly showed why he was regarded as the biggest steal of his draft class. In his first season playing full-time, the 21-year-old averaged 17.5 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 4.3 APG.

Multiple areas of Maxey’s game took a step forward in year two, and one person who deserves a ton of credit for this is assistant coach Sam Cassell. The former three-time champion has helped numerous guards in his years of coaching, with Maxey being his latest student.

Along with Cassell’s coaching, Maxey’s drive and work ethic are major catalysts in his continuously evolving game. In a recent interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, Cassell opened up on just how hard of a worker the young guard is behind the scenes.

No, I’m not that hard on guys, he said with a chuckle. Dealing with a guy like Tyrese Maxey, it’s like … a workout guru or this is how you should work out. If every player in the league had his intensity and his work ethic — wow. This league is already great. If a team had 15 Tyrese Maxeys on their team — with his work ethic — that’d be a great team. Not a good team, but a great team.

Maxey’s biggest jump came in the form of his three-point shooting. After hitting only 30% of his threes as a rookie, his percentage jumped all the way up to 42.7%, and on double the volume (1.7 attempts per game to 4.1).


Myles Powell Signs Overseas Deal

Due to a lack of depth at the guard position, the Sixers signed Myles Powell to a two-way contract for emergency situations. The 25-year-old spent most of his time in the G-League, where he averaged 22.4 PPG and 3.1 APG. Powell played a total of 52 minutes for the Sixers across 11 games. In that time, he tallied 13 points six rebounds, and three assists.

After a brief stint in Philly, Powell is heading overseas to continue his career. Reports recently came out that he signed a deal with the Bay Area Dragons of the East Asia Super League.


Daryl Morey Has High Hopes For Matisse Thybulle

With the start of a new season right around the corner, discussions have begun on who has the potential to have a breakout year in 2023. For the Sixers, many have circled De’Anthony Melton as someone who can burst on the scene this year, but Daryl Morey has another player in mind.

While doing an AMA on Instagram, Morey was asked who the most under-the-radar player is for the Sixers this season. He chose defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle.

In 66 games last year, Thybulle posted career-highs in PPG (5.7), SPG (1.7), and BPG (1.1). The former first-round pick also received All-Defense honors for the second-straight season.

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