Summer League: Sixers Guard Talks to Ben Simmons ‘All the Time’

Tyrese Maxey

Getty Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey scored 21 points and dished out four assists in the summer league opener.

The Philadelphia 76ers kicked off their 2021 MGM Resorts Summer League schedule with a 95-73 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday in Las Vegas. Tyrese Maxey was the star of the show after dropping 21 points in 25 minutes. The second-year guard flashed the same electrifying dribble penetration that made him a breakout star in last year’s playoffs.

Maxey attacked the rim with ease and set up teammates for open looks. He went 8-of-15 (53.3%) from the field and 3-of-6 (50%) from deep, with four assists and five rebounds. And Isaiah Joe filled the stat sheet up for the Sixers: 15 points, four rebounds, 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range.

Maxey even ratcheted it up on the defensive end, a facet of his game that he’s been working on with assistant coach Dan Burke. The quick-learning 20-year-old has also been chatting with several defensive-minded veterans this offseason.

“Coach Burke was telling me he needs me to get into the ball on every single ball screen, get into it, get into it,” Maxey told reporters on Monday, “and then just reps, reps, like the practices during the season, talking to guys like Matisse [Thybulle], Danny Green, Ben [Simmons], just different guys like that that are really good at it. That has really helped me and helped my progression.”

The utterance of Simmons’ name caused a stir since the three-time All-Star has (maybe, via reports) stopped talking to the Sixers’ organization. Maxey went on to say the two of them talk “all the time.”

“Those are great vets, they talk to me all the time,” Maxey said. “I just talked to Matisse to congratulate him [on his Olympic bronze medal]. Ben, I talk to him all the time. Danny Green, I texted him before the game and he was just telling us to go out there tonight and play hard and compete.”

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Jaden Springer Gets ‘Jitters’ in NBA Debut

It was a slow start for first-rounder Jaden Springer who admitted to feeling “jitters” in his first NBA game. The rookie guard out of Tennessee scored 11 points in 24 minutes but struggled shooting the rock early in the contest. He finished 4-of-12 (33.3%) from the field and 1-of-3 (33.3%) from three-point range.

Springer graded himself a “C” for the performance, pointing to erratic decision-making (mostly due to nerves) as the reason.

“Little jitters, I was thinking a lot out there,” Springer said. “First NBA game, not used to it. But got the first one out the way, so I’m good.”

The 28th overall pick has plenty of time to calm himself down with three games left before the championship round. He mentioned “my guy” Rayjon Tucker, Braxton Key, Tyrese Maxey as three guys easing him through the growing pains. The NBA game is a lot faster than the college one, according to Springer.

“It’s definitely a lot faster, more up and down, getting to it,” Springer said, “and the guys are bigger and stronger so just the game is at another level.”

Charles Bassey Sits Out Over Contract

It was a bit odd to see Charles Bassey sitting out on Monday as a healthy scratch. The Sixers’ second-round pick (53rd overall) logged zero minutes and rode the bench in street clothes. According to The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the 6-foot-11 big man was advised not to play by his agent since the two sides have been unable to work out a contract.

Fourth-year guard Frank Mason III also sat the summer league opener out with a right groin strain. There was no immediate timetable for his return.

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