Sixers Tyrese Maxey Flourishing With Addition of James Harden

Tyrese Maxey

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Tyrese Maxey

The early returns in the trade for James Harden have been great so far for the Philadelphia 76ers. The team is 2-0 with Harden in the lineup and the offense so far has been on fire.

In the first two games with Harden, the Sixers have been averaging a whopping 129 points per game while shooting 50% from the field. The team has also shot 80 free throws in the last two games.

The chemistry between superstars Harden and Joel Embiid has also been instant. Embiid has averaged 35.5 points and 9.5 rebounds with Harden so far. The Sixers also shot 27 free throws in the team’s win over the Knicks.

In his first two games in Philadelphia, Harden has averaged 28 points, 14 assists, and 9 rebounds per game. His chemistry hasn’t just been good with Embiid, second-year guard Tyrese Maxey has also been flourishing with Harden.

Maxey Is on Fire

When the Sixers traded for Harden, some were concerned about the loss of shooting guard Seth Curry, who is having a career year. So far though Maxey has stepped into that shooting guard spot and the team hasn’t missed a beat.

In the last two games, Maxey has averaged 24.5 points per game while shooting 66.7% from the field. The young guard has also shot 5-8 from three-point range.

The addition of Harden paired with Maxey’s speed has been a great match so far. Harden’s ability to find Maxey in transition has resulted in a lot of easy baskets for the Sixers.

Maxey has been one of the most improved players in the NBA this season. His numbers have improved drastically in every statistical category, including a big jump from 8 points to 17.1 points per game. His three-point shot has also been much better going from 30.1% during his rookie season to 39.5% this season.

According to Cleaning the Glass Maxey ranks eighth in the NBA at his position in points per shot attempt at 116.6 points per 100 shot attempts. He also has an effective field goal percentage of 53.3% and shoots 50.5% on two-point field goals. Both of those numbers rank top 15 in the NBA at Maxey’s position.

There’s Still Work To Do

While the Sixers have gotten off to a great start with Harden there are still areas that the team can improve. While Embiid and Maxey have flourished right away with Harden, Tobias Harris has struggled so far.

Through the last two games, Harris has scored just 9 points per game and has shot just 5-18 from the field. With as good of a passer as Harden is, it should just be a matter of time before he and Harris get on the same page.

With Harden on the floor, the Sixers seem to be playing with freedom and having fun for the first time in a while. The first two games with Harden have certainly given Sixers fans plenty to be excited about.

With that said the schedule will be drastically tougher this week. After hosting the Knicks on Wednesday, the Sixers’ next four games will come against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Brooklyn Nets. That four-game stretch will be a good early test for this Sixers squad.