Tyrese Maxey took the league by storm at the beginning of this season. His combination of frenetic energy and smarts at such a young age made everyone question how he could have possibly fell to the Sixers at the 21st overall pick in the NBA Draft. Things have cooled off for the rookie significantly since his hot start, however. He now finds himself out of Doc Rivers’ rotation completely, stuck to the bench unless getting the opportunity to play in garbage time. Maxey has the talent to be a rotation player, but it feels likely that his head coach is looking at this year as a learning experience for the rookie.
Things change quickly in the NBA, injuries happen and some players find themselves in shooting ruts. This is exactly what is happening with the Sixers right now, as their options at the guard position seem to be dwindling every game. Seth Curry is out for the immediate future with a sprained ankle, which opens up a spot in the starting lineup for another guard. While several options come to mind to fill the spot, none are all that enticing.
Shake Milton, another player who started the season scorching hot, has found himself struggling over the last few weeks. Milton is still a valuable member of the rotation, but the team might find it beneficial for him to take a step back and reassess things. He seems to be better suited coming off of the bench in a lead ball handler role, but taking some of the weight off of his shoulders by giving some of his minutes to Tyrese Maxey could do both players good.
A starting spot doesn't have to necessarily be given to Tyrese Maxey at the drop of a hat, but with all of the circumstances surrounding the guard rotation, giving Maxey an opportunity to prove himself again feels like a good idea, at least in the short-term future. There is no telling how long Curry will be out with this ankle injury, and even though the team has been able to weather the storm of several significant injuries early this season, they shouldn't feel obligated to sit around and wait for the team to get healthy. The Sixers’ record is solid enough right now that they can afford to take risks and try some new things with the rotation in order to combat falling off while the team isn’t at full strength. The newest crop of rookies on the team have shown flashes of brilliance, Tyrese Maxey in particular, so why not see if they can be difference makers down the stretch of the season?
One of the goals of these next few games without Seth Curry available and Shake Milton struggling should be to get Tyrese Maxey going in order to see if he fits into the team’s plans come playoff time. The Sixers have options; now it’s time for them to go deep into their roster of talented players to get through this portion of the season before we head towards the playoffs.