Just as the Philadelphia 76ers looked to be turning a corner, they suffered an unfortunate break. In the first half of the Sixers’ matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, Tyrese Maxey suffered an ankle injury which forced him out of the game. This occurred with 1:34 remaining in the first half when Maxey was attacking the basket on a fast break. He stepped on the foot of Jevon Carter when attempting to explode into the air. The 22-year-old was in obvious pain following the injury and went to the locker room with a notable limp after shooting his free throws.
What We Know About The Injury
Maxey has never been one to be held down by injuries and has been a model of durability throughout his young NBA career. He was clearly in an immense amount of pain and let out a few screams in pain as he attempted to walk it off. The referees also called the Sixers guard for a delay of game while he attempted to work through the pain which was in poor taste. Maxey did not come out of the locker room with the Sixers to start the second half and was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after.
The Sixers had the Kentucky product go for X-rays immediately which thankfully came back negative. He will undergo MRIs on Saturday where there will be a more complete picture painted of what the injury is. Maxey was in the process of having a stellar game before the injury. In the first half, he tallied 22 points, five assists, and four rebounds while shooting 9-12 from the field.
Update: Doc Rivers revealed to reporters after the game that Maxey is in a boot.
Sixers Injury Battles
Maxey has plenty of company on the injury report as several members of the team are battling some notable knocks. Tobias Harris was questionable leading up to the matchup but was ruled out due to hip soreness. Furkan Korkmaz has also missed the game as he continues to recover from a knee effusion. James Harden has also missed the Sixers’ past six games after suffering a right foot tendon sprain during a November 2nd loss to the Wizards.
The absence of Harden and Maxey leaves the Sixers’ backcourt especially bare. When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Rivers revealed his concern for the lack of guard depth. As he put it, “We have a lot of injuries, unfortunately. So it’s not been exactly the way you’d want it. You’d love to have Furk out, Matisse has a tweaked ankle, you’d like to have him out. So the second unit, I think Shake’s (Milton) the only guard in the whole unit so it does kind of create issues for that team,” per Ky Carlin of SixersWire.
The injury to Maxey only makes this issue more obvious. The lack of guard play on the Sixers roster has been labeled as a point of weakness coming into the season and injuries to the two starting guards will further expose this. The Sixers opted to go with Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton as the primary guard options to close out the game. Danuel House Jr. also saw more on-ball opportunities than is traditionally the case.
The most important storyline will be how serious the injury that Maxey is dealing with is. Prayers up that it is nothing serious and that he will be able to make his return to the team sooner rather than later. There will sure to be more clarity once the results of the MRI come back.