Toronto—When the Philadelphia 76ers started their Round 1 series with the Toronto Raptors, they got some great play from young Tyrese Maxi to take a 2-0 series lead.
Maxi was beating the guys with a dribble to get to the basket, he was knocking down 3-pointers as if they were layups, and he did a lot of good stuff on the offensive end to help Philadelphia take a 2-0 lead. did it He scored 38 points in the first match of the series and then went on to score 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
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He struggled a bit in two games in Toronto and only got 19 points on 8-for-18 shooting in Game 3 and 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting in a loss in Game 4. It looked like Maxi wasn’t as aggressive as he normally is and the Sixers needed to find a way to get the job done and give him some open looks.
“From executing, it’s clear to me, Tyrese is very beneficial when we’re running our stuff and we don’t, he’s not,” said coach Doc Rivers. “He’s just standing on the sidelines. I thought there were times he had it and settled down. I asked him once, ‘How many times have you got your nails on the backboard?’ He once said. I said, ‘I don’t need to say much.’
There was a moment in Game 4 when Rivers called a timeout and he was a little upset with Maxi as it went to his ear. It was another teaching moment for the young man that despite being on the team with Joel Embiid and James Harden, he still needs to commit his own offense.
“Just coaching,” said Maxi of that moment. “Trying to help me. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to turn to Joel, when he’s stuck, when to stay in your place, and when to flash when he’s facing . He really helped me in that situation and I really appreciated what he did. Listen and take coaching.”
Rivers went a little deeper with this as it was a conversation to take him to the offensive end again and help him as a player. The Sixers need him to be on the offensive again to take out Toronto in this series because he could be an X-factor.
“It was a very positive conversation about difference, about taking charge, and not worrying about who you are with,” Rivers said. “She’s just as important as everyone else.”
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