Tyrese Maxey Stays Ready: 76ers Rookie Scores 15 Points in Game 4 vs. Wizards

Sixers First-Round Pick Rising to Occasion in NBA Playoffs
by Matt Murphy

Tyrese Maxey said his first NBA playoff experience is exactly what he expected.

The crowds, the “chess matches” between opposing coaches...he was ready for it all.

Staying ready defined Maxey’s first NBA regular season and continues to be his approach in the postseason, on the game’s biggest stage.

“I’ve been saying the same thing the entire year,” said Maxey following the 76ers' Monday morning shootaround. “My role is to stay ready and give the team the energy that I need to give them. I’ve got to stay ready for whatever moment the coaching staff puts me through.”

In 61 regular season games, the rookie averaged 8.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 15.3 minutes per game. With increased playing time as the team gathered itself for this postseason, the University of Kentucky product upped his scoring average to 12.7 points in 21.6 minutes per contest in the month of May.

On Monday night, Maxey’s number (No. 0 for a “zero excuses”) was called for the longest stretch of his young postseason career.

Maxey played 21 minutes off the bench in Game 4 versus the Wizards and scored a bench-high 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range. He also recorded a steal and block in the fourth quarter, the same frame in which he netted 10 of his 15 points.

“In the second half, I thought he was fantastic,” 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said. “He was going downhill. I thought he made some good defensive plays as well. He was involved in rebounding. He really, really showed well tonight. I’m very happy for him.”

“Just a lot of confidence,” Tobias Harris said of what he’s seen from Maxey. “He was a real key to that group that was able to get out there and get a run...this whole playoff series, he’s been great for us.”

Although the Sixers were ultimately unable to complete the comeback, the play of the bench was a bright spot. The reserves outscored Washington’s bench, 51-29.

So how is it that Tyrese Maxey stays ready?

“My mom always told me before games, imagine what you’re going to do in the game before the game. Take time and imagine what you’re going to do and how you want the game to play out in your head.

“I still do that to this day. Just try to really get mentally prepared before the game. I try to put my phone down, get off social media, don’t really like to talk to people. I’ve been like that for a minute now. Just lock in on the task at hand.”

It’s safe to say Denyse Maxey, along with Tyrese’s father Tyrone, has seen her son play basketball more than anyone else.

“Every single time the lights get brighter, he turns into this other person,” Denyse said earlier this year.

A closeout game at home with a 3-1 series lead.

The arena at 100-percent capacity.

The lights are getting brighter and Tyrese Maxey figures to be ready.

Wednesday’s Game 5 between the 76ers and Wizards is a 7 p.m. start in Philadelphia.

Related Links
Video: Tyrese Maxey Highlights vs. Washington Wizards - Game 4 (05/31/2021)
Video: Tyrese Maxey Postgame Media vs. Washington Wizards - Game 4 (05/31/2021)
Thybulle Primed for Playoff Impact

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