The Sixers’ guard’s career path has been compared to that of future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
Things were going exceptionally well for the Philadelphia 76ers before they were hammered by injuries and COVID-19 (yet again).
Doc Rivers’ team was able to win eight of its first ten games despite the absence of Ben Simmons.
Although a number of factors contributed to the team’s early success — Joel Embiid’s steadying presence, Tobias Harris’ All-Star play, Seth Curry’s hot shooting, the bench stepping up, and so on —
— Tyrese Maxey’s contributions as a second-year guard can’t be overstated.
Despite the early run turning into a five-game losing streak, his strong play has continued.
The former 21st overall pick is currently averaging 17.5 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game.
He also has a 113.5 offensive rating in 536 minutes, which leads the team.
Maxey has been so good that a former NBA executive and statistician recently compared his potential career path to that of a certain four-time NBA champion and future Hall of Famer.
Maxey may be Tony Parker-like, according to Hollinger.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger made a point to sing Maxey’s praises in a piece breaking down some early-season trends that fans can believe in.
Hollinger dubbed him “the roadrunner,” noting that Philly’s fill-in floor general is currently thriving thanks to his “blast-off, beep-beep quickness and unusual skill at moving runners and bankers.”
He also asked, “Does that combination remind you of any other 6-2 guard who was drafted late in the first round?”
Hollinger was referring to Tony Parker, the legendary San Antonio Spurs point guard.
Maxey still relies on difficult running bankers to an unusual extent, which makes you nervous about his future.
His first-step burst, on the other hand, is undeniable and unteachable.
If he can use catch-and-go and tweaks to his off-the-dribble game to get to the rim a little more often, and if the basketball gods sprinkle in some stardust, he could have a career trajectory similar to Tony Parker’s.
While heaping such high expectations on Maxey is unjust, having a Parker-like player alongside Embiid for the long haul would be a godsend given the Simmons saga.
And it’s possible that it won’t be too much of a…
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