People on social media reacted to a clip appearing to show a bench incident between Tyrese Maxey and James Harden during the Game 1 loss vs the Heat. However, not all was as it first seemed.
The Miami Heat cruised to a 106-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Monday.
The 76ers were without MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid, who didn’t travel to Miami after suffering a concussion and orbital fracture in the closeout win over the the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
76ers stars fail to carry the load in Embiid’s absence
The 76ers actually kept things close for a while, jumping out to a 55-50 lead across the second and third quarters. However, Philly couldn’t keep up pace with the Heat as the game went on, with Miami clamping down on the defensive end and turning up the gas on offense.
Harden, who assumed the role of the 76ers go-to man in Embiid’s absence, had a mixed night, finishing with 16 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Tyrese Maxey added 19 points and two assists but finished with zero rebounds and left a lot to be desired on the defensive end.
Tyrese Maxey and James Harden alleged bench incident
During the game, a clip circulated on social media appearing to show an incident between Tyrese Maxey and James Harden on the 76ers bench.
With 4:40 to go in the fourth quarter, and the Heat leading 98-77, Maxey and Harden headed over to the Philly bench. Harden sits down next to DeAndre Jordan while Maxey walks further down the bench and sits.
Harden then gets up to go and sit next to Tyrese, at which point Maxey gets up, walks away and sits back down away from Harden. Check it out below:
The bench incident explored
Many people saw the footage on social media and assumed the pair had a falling out. One post even claims the words, ‘you f***** suck’ were exchanged between the pair.
However, on closer inspection, it appears the pair haven’t fallen out at all, nor were those words said.
As many eagle-eyed viewers spotted, Maxey actually gets up and walks away from Harden on the bench because he is called over by a 76ers assistant coach. At the end of the video you can see Maxey speaking with the coach.
It’s simply bad timing that he gets up to speak with the coach as soon as Harden sits next to him.
Philadelphia will play Game 2 on Wednesday once again without Embiid, but there is a sense of optimism he could return for Game 3. The 76rs certainly missed his inside presence in Game 1.
Can the 76ers bounce back in Game 2? Or are they in trouble without Embiid? Let us know in the comments!