Is Tyrese Maxey vs. Tyrese Haliburton the next great NBA guard rivalry?

Tyrese Maxey and Turese Haliburton are taking the NBA by storm this season.

Tyrese Maxey and Turese Haliburton are taking the NBA by storm this season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

First Tyrese Maxey hung 50 points on the Pacers, a piece de resistance in what has been a breakout season for the young 76ers guard, who’s quickly becoming Philly’s favorite point guard since Allen Iverson.

Then, it was Tyrese Haliburton‘s turn, racking up 33 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers in a rematch against the Sixers on Tuesday night, which Indiana won, 132-126.

Haliburton’s performance– combined with a 25-point, 17 assist night during Maxey’s 50-piece, a 137-126 win for the 76ers, means he became the first player with 25+ points, 15+ assists and zero turnovers in consecutive games since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, according to ESPN.

If you’re keeping track, that’s 58 points, 32 assists, zero turnovers. That’s Point God stuff.

Maxey, on the other hand, has taken the league by storm so far this season, making James Harden’s “System” look like “System of a Down.”

The two Tyreses have so much in common– they’re both 23 years old, they were both drafted in the first round in 2020, and three years later, they’re both embarking on breakout seasons that could make them household names, though they’re already there for hoop heads.

Haliburton earned his first All-Star nod last season, when he averaged a double-double with 20.7 points and 10.4 assists, shooting 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep. This year, the former Iowa State standout has been even better– averaging an absurd 23.8 points and 12.2 assists per game through nine games. Those 12.2 assists lead the league by a full 2 assists per game, as Trae Young ranks second right now at 10.2.

Haliburton’s field goal percentage is also up to 51.7 percent, and he’s knocking down three 3s a game and shooting 94% from the free throw line. It’s only nine games, sure, but that’s ridiculous efficiency.

Maxey is well on his way to earning his first All-Star nod this season (wouldn’t it be hilarious if he made it and Harden didn’t again?). He’s averaging 28.6 points per game, which ranks 9th in the NBA, up from 20.3 per last season. He’s averaging just over four more minutes per game this year, though his usage rate is significantly higher. Maxey’s dishing out 7.2 assists per (up from 3.4 last season), shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3. With his 50-point performance on Sunday, he joined A.I. as the only Sixers in history to score 50 at age 23 or younger.

Maxey has to be the frontrunner for Most Improved Player this year, though it’s debatable whether or not he’s actually improved his game that much, or if it’s just that he finally has the freedom to do what he can do.

The Sixers are playing at a breakneck pace, seemingly in a perpetual fast break this season, and it’s all thanks to new head coach Nick Nurse’s decision to hand Maxey the keys and let him take that Ferrari out for a joy ride.

Joel Embiid is happier, Tobias Harris is better, and the Sixers are 8-2 and though it’s early, they look like real contenders in the East.

The Pacers on the other hand, thanks mostly to Haliburton and Myles Turner, are 7-4 and look like a legitimate playoff team for the first time since T.J. Warren was turning into Michael Jordan in the Bubble.

With the two Tyreses posting phenomenal performances against each other in back-to-back games, and with both so young and at the helm of contenders, it’s only natural to wonder if this is something we’re going to be seeing for a long time. They each have different strengths– Maxey’s speed and athleticism, Haliburton’s court vision, length and deep bag– and it’s almost like if you combined their games, you’d have the perfect point guard.

Sure, Haliburton and the Pacers have a ways to go before they’re considered true contenders in the East. There are other point guards out there– Damian Lillard, Trae Young– who can stake their claim as the best in the conference.

But we’ve got a feeling that the battle of the Tyreses is going to be something really worth watching in a few years.

Hell, it’s really worth watching right now.

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