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Sixers Star Walks Away with NBA Award

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey, 2024 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year, alongside teammate Joel Embiid

On Tuesday, Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey was named the 2024 Most Improved Player of the Year.

Averaging 25.9 points and 6.2 assists per game on 37.3 percent from 3, Maxey posted All-Star numbers. Indeed, at just 23 years old, Maxey has already earned his first All-Star selection. It’s his second consecutive season averaging at least 20 points per game and his third straight season converting at least 37 percent of his 3-point attempts.

For reference, James Harden averaged 21.0 points and 10.6 assists per game (79 games) while shooting 37.0 percent from 3 with the Sixers. With that said, Maxey has replaced Harden as well as nearly player could.

Tyrese Maxey Walks Away with Most Improved Player Award

A slithery shot-creator at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Maxey’s wasn’t able to win without Joel Embiid. Indeed, Philadelphia was 16-27 without Embiid in the 2023-24 regular season. Nonetheless, he did everything he could to put the team on his back, averaging at least 24 points per game in every month.

Maxey beat out a worthy group of Most Improved Player finalists, with Chicago Bulls guard Coby White and Houston Rockets center Alperen Sengun finishing among the top-three vote-getters. Each player averaged at least 19.0 points and 5.0 assists per game, with the Rockets and Sixers finishing with a record above .500.

To that point, Brooklyn Nets guard Cam Thomas arguably should’ve received greater recognition as a Most Improved Player candidate.

At the same time, Thomas’ playmaking was a notch below this season’s MIP finalists. Furthermore, the Nets finished the season with a 32-50 record. The Bulls also won fewer than 40 games last season. However, they managed to make the Play-In Tournament, giving them a chance at a NBA Playoffs berth. Brooklyn was 4.0 games out of a Play-In Tournament.

Defying Expectations

Drafted in the bottom-third of the first round, the Texas native has definitely exceeded expectations.

Certainly, he played for a prestigious college program that’s produced several high-caliber NBA players. However, Maxey shot just 42.7 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from 3 leaving Kentucky. He also averaged just 3.2 assists to 2.2 assists per game, leading to questions about his true position.

Displaying a level of dedication typically reserved for the league’s marquee players, Maxey’s work ethic up to this point lends credence to the belief that he can become a perennial All-Star candidate.

There are still questions about his shot-selection and perimeter defense. Nonetheless, he’s in just his fourth season. He should be expected to grow in both of those areas.


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