What's Most Impressive is the Variety of Ways in Which Tyrese Maxey is Scoring
Dan Olinger at Liberty Ballers put together a highlight reel showing a portion of Tyrese Maxey’s 50-piece from Sunday night. I narrated through some of the stuff you see in the video and got out the telestrator for a moment:
Most impressive thing about the Tyrese Maxey performance was the variety of ways in which he scored. Pick and roll, DHO, pistol, iso/step back, attacking closeouts, etc. 50 points on 20-32 shooting, only three foul shots 😳
a walkthrough: pic.twitter.com/814GREAEy7
— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) November 14, 2023
It’s totally gnarly. 20-32 from the floor, 7-11 from three, just 3-3 from the foul line in a career-high 50-point effort.
Let me elaborate on a couple of things from the clip, first those side pick and rolls:
The way he’s reading the primary defender on these PNRs is elite. In this case, Joel Embiid sets the screen, Bruce Brown gets stuck not really going under or going over, so Tyrese realizes he’s got the time and space to shoot and decides to fire away. Split-second decision making with no hesitation.
Another one is this wrinkle on the two-man game:
These look like a hybrid of pistol and dribble hand-off sets. “Pistol” is basically a give-and-go type of thing, like a quick pass in, then you get the ball back with momentum. Embiid and Maxey do this in space and it really creates a lot of room for Tyrese to work with, in this case just an open three from a couple of feet behind the arc. They run it so quickly though that he’s able to skirt into prime shooting positions in the blink of an eye.
It’s a little different than the old Embiid/JJ Redick DHO game, where Embiid would typically receive the ball on the wing from Ben Simmons, then Redick would have a lower starting point. He’d bomb off Embiid’s shoulder and take the hand off, then fire away. With Maxey, the action is starting higher, at least 4-5 feet above the elbow in that image above.
Speaking of which:
Paul Reed is setting these screens at the logo. You’ve got two Sixers players ball side here, one in the corner and one just below the break line. On the weak side, Tobias Harris waits in the corner. The action begins so high on the floor that it allows a ton of downhill momentum into open space, and when the defender goes over here, the big is trying to keep up with Tyrese from a starting point that’s a full foot above the three point arc. It’s crazy how quickly Maxey is able to turn the corner and drive the slot, oftentimes just shooting right over a guy who’s got several inches on him.
This is the double drag I mentioned in the video, basically just a high staggered set of screens that you can set in early transition. Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard have to fight through Paul Reed and Danuel House, and by the time Jalen Smith looks up, he’s got Maxey bombing from 25 feet.
It’s impressive, isn’t it? Maxey is doing everything right. Not only executing the on-court mechanics of pick and roll, DHO, and pistol, but making the right decisions, and making them instantly. They run these actions high, they run them early in the shot clock, and they really stress defenders as soon as they cross mid court. He’s fast enough to round the corner and get downhill, then shoot floaters and high layups with the underhand. Or, he can simply pull up from 23+ and punish defenders who go under Embiid and Reed. It’s been brilliant to watch.