Life as a pro hooper continues to be something of a rollercoaster for Philadelphia 76ers rookie Tyrese Maxey. The former Kentucky Wildcat was an instant hit in college, earning Second-team All-SEC honors as a freshman, but his path to NBA stardom looks to be a winding one.
In the last few weeks alone, Maxey has been on both ends of the spectrum in terms of game action.
During Philly’s 11-point loss to the Golden State Warriors, the 20-year-old played an eventful 16 minutes, hitting 5-of-9 shots and scoring 10 points. On the flip side, he has also logged three DNPs in Philly’s last nine games.
Through it all, though, Maxey has kept his eye on the prize.
Even when he fails to crack Doc Rivers’ rotation on a given night, the talented guard remains undeterred in his efforts to improve as a player. Behind the scenes, he is working as hard as ever to ensure that he makes good on the opportunities that he does receive.
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Maxey Won’t Compromise on Off-Day Workouts
As captured by USA Today’s Ky Carlin, Maxey updated his Instagram story early on Tuesday — just hours after his big game against the Warriors — with footage of himself stepping onto the court for a workout. The phrase, “Gotta love itttt” was plastered across the screen in all-caps in the share.
Regardless of whether or not he has tired legs, Maxey is clearly committed to the process of getting better.
Ahead of Monday’s game, the former No. 21 overall pick made it clear that the extra work is an essential part of his effort to be the best version of himself on the hardwood.
“Tyrese Maxey says he still gets workouts in on off days at this point in the season,” reported Sports Illustrated’s Justin Grasso, via Twitter. “Doesn’t matter what the schedule is like or how many minutes he plays, he feels he needs to work every day.”
It would seem that the work is paying off. Over his last two appearances, Maxey has scored a combined 19 points on 56.3-percent shooting from the field.
Rivers Offers High Praise for the Rookie
Earlier this season, as the Sixers were being rocked by COVID-19 and contact tracing, Maxey came up big when he was forced into action. Over a 10-game stretch from December 31 to January 16, he averaged 14.5 points, three rebounds and three assists per contest.
And while his playing time has been incredibly inconsistent since then, Rivers remains encouraged by what he sees from the young guard.
“Him and Paul Reed and Isaiah [Joe], along with our skill development, if you watch them work, and I’ve been coaching 20 years, is the best group I’ve seen in what you would call the low minute group,” said Rivers, via Sixers Wire. “It’s the hardest working low-minute group I’ve ever been around.”.
He also made a point to encourage Maxey after a nine-point effort against the LA Clippers on Friday.
“I keep telling him, I said ‘Man, you’re gonna win a game for us. You’re gonna win a game during the regular season, you can win a game in the playoffs for us, you just have to be ready when that time comes.’”