By Lew Gould

In just his third year, Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey has become their third option (sorry, Tobias Harris) after Joel Embiid and James Harden.

And it was an intervention by Embiid, the Sixers and the NBA’s scoring leader and MVP, that turned Maxey into Mad Max.

As the Inky recounts:

Joel Embiid initially approached Tyrese Maxey on the 76ers’ late-night flight following a Feb. 8 loss to the Boston Celtics. The teammates had a second candid conversation about two weeks later, after the Celtics topped the Sixers and Maxey scored only eight points.

Embiid’s message boiled down to the one word most commonly uttered when describing Maxey’s ideal playing style: aggressive, aggressive, aggressive.

“I told him we’re not going anywhere unless he’s aggressive and he just plays freely,” Embiid publicly relayed a few minutes after that second chat.

“So that’s all I want for him.”

Maxey has consistently soared since, averaging 22.2 points on 54.5% shooting in the Sixers’ ensuing 20 games.

The shift can at least partially be attributed to Maxey feeling “extremely healthy” following a fractured foot suffered in November that kept him out for about six weeks — or to the end of coach Doc Rivers’ experimentation with Maxey as a sixth man upon his return from injury.

He was moved back into the starting lineup in a March 2 loss at the Dallas Mavericks.

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