Sixers' Tyrese Maxey overtakes Coby White as the most improved running back in the NBA

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player on Tuesday night, beating out Chicago Bulls' Coby White and Houston Rockets' Alperin Senghun.

Maxey, 23, had a breakout season with the Sixers, averaging career highs in points (25.9), rebounds (3.7), assists (6.2), steals (1.0) and 3-pointers (212). He also became an All-Star for the first time when he transitioned to playing point guard full-time after trading James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I had to take different steps,” Maxey said during an interview with TNT before the Minnesota Timberwolves played the Phoenix Suns in Game 2 of their first-round series on Tuesday night, when he received the award. “Going into the offseason, I didn't know what it was going to be like with James, so the thing I had to do was work on the pick-and-roll every day, work on the passing, work on the reads… those little things are exciting.” Me more than others, because I don't think I haven't been able to make the plays I'm making this year in recent years.

“I just want to be the best version of myself I can be.”

Maxi received 51 first place votes, 18 second place votes and 10 third place votes, finishing with 79 votes and receiving a total of 319 points.

White was out on the total with 91 votes but received 32 first place votes, 43 second place votes and 16 third place votes for 305 total points.

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Singun scored 92 points in third place, followed by Thunder forward Jalen Williams in fourth place and New York Knicks player Jalen Brunson in fifth place.

“It feels great,” Maxey said of winning the award. “Someone like me who prides himself on putting in a lot of work and training people and finding ways to get 1% better every time I go to the gym, it feels good to have that come to light, honestly.”

The joy of winning the award was a little dull for Maxey in the wake of Monday night's strong finish in Game 2 of Philadelphia's first-round series against the New York Knicks. Although he finished with 35 points, Maxey had a key turnover in the final 30 seconds that led to what turned out to be the winning 3-pointer for the Knicks.

The league's last-minute report was released Tuesday and announced that Maxey was fouled not once but twice on the play he committed the turnover.

The 20th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Kentucky, Maxey has grown from a part-time player as a rookie to a regular starter in Philadelphia, and the perfect long-term companion to the league's most valuable player. , Joel Embiid. There has arguably been no one more in Maxey's corner than Embiid, who he constantly refers to as the best player on the team.

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Most Improved Player was the first of the league's season-long awards to be handed out over the next two weeks, and the first of four awards to be given out this week. The league's Sixth Man of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday, followed by the Player of the Year award on Thursday and the Coach of the Year award on Sunday.

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