The Philadelphia 76ers will be turning to a new point guard when they open up the season on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans on the road. With the status of Ben Simmons up in the air and Shake Milton on the shelf, the Sixers will be turning to young Tyrese Maxey.
Entering his second season in the league, Maxey will have to handle more responsibility to not only score the ball and be himself, but to also set up the rest of his teammates and run the offense. All of that can be tough for any guard to handle let alone a guy in only his second season in the league.
This will be a big work in progress for him, but coach Doc Rivers, who is a former point guard, has some advice for Maxey.
“Just play, that’s what I told him,” said Rivers pregame on Wednesday. “Please don’t have me in your head or Joel in your head, or anyone else in your head. Just have Tyrese in your head.”
Maxey will have to find that balance, but the guy has a maniacal work ethic and he understands that he has to be able to figure all of this out. Rivers wants his young guard to also understand a very short word to tell his teammates.
“As I tell every young point guard I’ve coached, the word ‘no’ is a valuable word,” he added. “It’s like golden because everybody wants the ball. Everyone’s hot, everyone is open, and there are gonna be times when you’re gonna have to be open yourself and shoot the ball. I want him to be very aggressive.”
The best thing about Maxey is that he does have a high basketball IQ and he exudes confidence. While this is a new challenge for him and he will have to really be ready for all of this, Rivers is confident that he will be able to figure all of this out pretty quickly.
“I would always tell him, I’d rather say ‘move the ball’ than ‘shoot the ball’,” Rivers finished. “We’ll see. One thing I like about him is he’s an extremely confident kid and he has proven that out so far.”
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