Opinion: The Sixers need to change their approach with Tyrese Maxey

For the good of the Philadelphia 76ers- and the fans the young guard needs to be a starter again



Philadelphia 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey plays during an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Before his foot injury, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey was starting to find his role on the team; since then, he has been unable to build on a promising season. 

Since returning to the court on December 30th, Tyrese Maxey has averaged 17.3 points on 44.3/34.8/86.7 shooting splits.

Fast forward to today, De’ Anthony Melton has taken his spot in the starting lineup rather than Maxey being eased in. With De’Anthony Melton averaging 5.4 PTS/2 REB/38% from three, it might be a good time to insert Maxey back into the starting lineup.

Here’s the difference when Maxey comes off the bench vs. him starting this season. (via Statmuse)

As a starter: 22 games played

22.5 PPG

– 4.3 APG 

– 45.3% FG

– 39.6 3P%

– +97

Off the bench: 19 games played

– 15.9 PPG

– 2.6 APG

– 45% FG

– 36.6% 3P

– +36

When watching the games, Maxey looks so much more comfortable in the starting unit, and it’s not even close.

From the other perspective, he hasn’t found his rhythm since returning from a broken bone in his foot, so leading the second unit isn’t the best idea right now.

But interestingly enough, when playing alongside Joel Embiid, the two-person lineup averages a 9.6 net rating. This could be the spark Maxey needs.

Another thing to mention is Maxey’s mental state. He recently stated that his confidence had taken a hit, and anyone watching the games can tell he hasn’t played with the same energy and passion.

The Sixers have the toughest schedule in the NBA for the second half of the season, and the play of Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey will have to excel in pulling out wins. Keeping a higher seed is going to be crucial come playoff time. With Maxey in the starting lineup, this team can beat some of these tougher opponents. 

Maxey needs to adjust his game for the Sixers to succeed in the future, as he is their most significant X factor.