PHILADELPHIA-Young Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey is on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star in the league. In his third season in the NBA, he's averaging 21.3 points and 3.9 assists while shooting 40% from deep as he continues to grow as a player.
What makes Maxey's ascent so impressive is the fact that he stands at just 6-foot-2 and he isn't the strongest player in the league. He just uses his blazing quickness, his uncanny ability to finish over taller players, and his maniacal work ethic to continue to improve in this league.
Another diminutive Sixers guard, Allen Iverson, made a living out of scoring the ball despite standing at just 6-feet tall and being a skinny guard in the league. Some might see some of Iverson's heart and his skill in what Maxey does on the floor.
Sixers legend Julius Erving, who led the Sixers to their last title in 1983, spoke at the Sixers Youth Foundation gala on Thursday night and expressed admiration for Maxey.
"Everything about him," said Erving. "His persona, his attitude, his energy, his ability. He's as capable a scorer as any player in the league. He's a different type version of Allen Iverson. Iverson was fearless and I see that in Maxey. Maxey probably just has a little more floater in his game."
Maxey's continued Iverson-like ascension in the league combined with the elite play of James Harden and Joel Embiid has Erving excited about this Sixers team and their chances at winning their first title in 40 years.
"I think this team has a very good chance," Erving added. They're a pretty confident group, pretty deep, and now it's a matter of making that chemistry work and sustaining it at playoff time. A lot of people overlook the regular season, but I think you hone your talent during the regular season, build greater confidence, and you learn the nuances of what it takes to be successful on that big stage."
Maxey and the Sixers will have to go through some really tough teams such as the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, but Philadelphia certainly has the talent to get it done.
"It's hard to win against a really good team four times in seven tries," Erving finished. "I think the Sixers are capable of doing that."
The Sixers also haven't made the finals since Iverson led the way in 2001.
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire