Should Tyrese Maxey Start Next Season?
There are still a lot of question marks coming into this season for the 76ers, but Tyrese Maxey is definitely something that fans can look forward to. Without the answers to the questions remaining, we can still contemplate the starting lineup coming into this year. Many assume that Doc will roll out the same starters if Simmons is still around, which isn’t a bad idea, but here is why I think they should shake it up if the plan is to keep Simmons in the building.
The starting five last year was very effective, obviously anchored by Joel Embiid’s campaign, but bolstered by the spacing of the shooters and the defensive effort from Ben Simmons. The main issue that the Sixers faced was half court production outside of Embiid’s self creation. What could change that entirely is a player that can handle the ball and attack the basket in a variety of ways. Tyrese Maxey is an actual point guard, a player that can put the ball on the floor, get to the rim, make decisive passes, and has shown significant growth in perimeter creation. Maxey brings something that nobody else on this team has, and on top of his physical abilities he is also a high energy, aggressive player that can change the game just by his presence.
Specifically, this would allow Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons to become screeners and float off the ball, making their scoring opportunities much easier. Harris is a cerebral mismatch killer, who is at his best as a shooter when pick and popping. Having Maxey play with the starters frees up Simmons in the half court and actually allows him to play a more dynamic role in the half court. It could force him into catch and shoot opportunities and liberate him from the shackles of being the only player with creation abilities.
Joel Embiid is always going to get his points, regardless of who is on the floor, but as long as Maxey is able to continue growing a shooter the spacing advantage is still there. Giving Harris more three point chances and letting Simmons roam freely on that side of the ball could entirely change the plan of attack of this offense.
The question then remains of who goes to the bench, Danny Green or Seth Curry. Both of these guys were great for the Sixers last year, and really made life easier on Embiid with the spacing they provided for him. Neither of them are necessarily natural creators which is what the Sixers lacked. I would be in favor of Curry going to the bench, and not because I think he is by any means unworthy of a starting position, but schematically it makes the most sense to keep Green’s defense and off ball movement in this lineup. It would also let us see the postseason version of Seth as he would become the main scoring option in the second unit.
Again, I don’t think this is a vital action, but I do think there are clear upsides to inserting Maxey into the starting lineup for this season if all remains the same in terms of the roster. Most of all, I think that it makes this team really difficult to stop on the offensive side of the ball with how many different ways they can beat you. I have full confidence that Maxey has the ability to become the player Philadelphia is missing.
Let me know what you guys think!