Knicks’ Jalen Brunson Labels 76ers’ Tyrese Maxey ‘Real Deal’
Maxey’s typical backcourt partner James Harden was out for the night after suffering a tendon strain against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The other All-Star, Joel Embiid, missed his third-straight matchup as the flu continues to keep him off the court.
Being that he’s one of the Sixers’ main scoring options at this point in his career, Maxey understood that he would have to lead the charge against the Knicks on Friday.
“I’ll be ball-handling a little bit more and try to facilitate a little bit more to get guys in their spots,” Maxey said Friday morning. “Same kind of thing I had to do at the beginning of last year before we got him. Just still be aggressive and find ways to help us win games.”
Despite the Sixers falling short with a 106-104 loss to the Knicks, Maxey nearly helped his team seal the victory. A solid third-quarter effort, where Maxey drained 50 percent of his shots for ten points, helped the Sixers climb back from a deficit and take the lead.
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Unfortunately, Maxey and the Sixers struggled to maintain their third-quarter success in crunch time. Regardless of the final results, Knicks star Jalen Brunson left the matchup acknowledging the rising stardom of his opponent, Tyrese Maxey.
“[He does] everything,” said Brunson. “He’s the real deal. He’s only gotten better and better every year. He’s a special player, and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon.”
Before the Knicks matchup, Maxey averaged a career-high of 24 points while draining 51 percent of shots and knocking down 47 percent of his threes. Sharing the court with notable All-Stars such as Joel Embiid and James Harden, Maxey has proven that his third-year development could really help him make a case to become a first-time All-Star if he keeps up his play.
Against New York on Friday, Maxey had another 30-plus point outing. While his shooting efficiency wasn’t up to par, the opposition recognized the young guard’s talent and offered him props following the game.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.