Sixers Notes: Maxey, Millsap, Harris, Harden

Second-year Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey, who has shifted over one position to starting shooting guard since James Harden joined the lineup, is off to a hot start as part of the new-look backcourt, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 21-year-old is averaging 24.5 PPG while shooting 66.6% from the floor in his first two games with Harden.

Now that Harden has mostly taken over ball-handling duties, Maxey is able to function more as a scorer than as a set-up man.

“He’s actually playing the position now that he’s played his whole life,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “So in some ways, he’s very comfortable playing the way he’s playing.”

For the season, his first as a full-time starter, Maxey is averaging 17.2 PPG, 4.5 APG and 3.6 RPG, all career highs.

There’s more out of the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Sixers reserve big man Paul Millsap is excited for a fresh start in Philadelphia. Millsap, a four-time All-Star, revealed that the Sixers were the first club to recruit him in free agency last summer, per Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Millsap said the deal that sent him and Harden to the Sixers from the Nets was “meant to be.” Across four games with Philadelphia, the 37-year-old is averaging 5.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 11.0 MPG.
  • After the Sixers offloaded Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and future draft picks for All-NBA guard Harden and Millsap, a reduction in touches was in order for Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris. The 6’8″ vet appreciates the necessity of his new role in the club’s pecking order, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s what winning basketball is all about,” Harris said of the change. In his two games played with Harden thus far, Harris has taken a total of 18 shots from the floor, averaging just 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 3.0 APG. Across 51 total games this season, Harris is averaging 18.3 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 3.6 APG on .479/.347/.855 shooting splits.
  • Given that Harden has just successfully forced his way off a team with apathetic on-court performances for the second time in two NBA seasons, Tommy Beer of Basketball News opines that several other star players could follow suit, as has been happening for the past few seasons.
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