3 Reasons Tyrese Maxey can keep Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers afloat

Tyrese Maxey is the perfect rising star to keep the Philadelphia 76ers afloat in the Eastern Conference.
Can Maxey keep the 76ers afloat until Embiid returns?
Can Maxey keep the 76ers afloat until Embiid returns? / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Exploring three reasons why Tyrese Maxey will be able to keep the Philadelphia 76ers afloat without Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers received the bad news about Joel Embiid's injury and that he will be out for an extended period. The reigning NBA MVP underwent a procedure to repair the meniscus in his left knee and it's unknown whether Embiid will return at all this season but the organization is optimistic and hoping for the best.

As he continued to solidify his status as one of the most dominant and physically imposing players in the league, Embiid was on track to possibly win consecutive MVP awards but a new rule was implemented in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement states that in order for players to be eligible for major awards, they have to appear in at least 65 games and play for at least 20 minutes in each one.

With the injury, Embiid won't come close to the 65-game mark as he has only appeared in 34. The question to ask now is can the 76ers finish the season without having to struggle for a playoff spot? Which player or players will take the initiative and step up for the team? One answer: Tyrese Maxey. And he may be the perfect rising star to help keep the Sixers afloat in the East.

Tyrese Maxey is the perfect rising star for this moment

Tyrese Maxey comes to mind when assessing who will take the lead for the 76ers going into the 2nd half of the season. He will be handed the keys to the offense with the hopes that he can keep the team in contention until Embiid returns.

Embiid was putting up career highs with 35.3 points per game and 5.7 assists as he was also averaging a career-high free throw percentage shooting 80 percent from the line. The 76ers are currently in the middle of the pack as they are currently in 5th place in a crowded Eastern Conference.

As long as Embiid is on the floor, the 76ers are capable of defeating any team in the league. Without him, the 76ers are decent at best but Embiid's presence makes them championship contenders and they will need him to get there. The earliest Embiid is expected to return is maybe a week or two before the end of the regular season, but in the meantime, the 76ers will have to fight to stay above water and keep their position in the standings.

Thankfully, the team has another All-Star in Maxey and we will see what he can do as he assumes the leadership role and void left by Embiid.