Tyrese Maxey’s coffin-closing fourth quarter will be talked about in hushed tones for years in Philadelphia. The second-year guard played lights-out basketball, unconsciously drilling long-range jumpers and using his boundless energy to incite the home crowd.
He channeled Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson during Monday’s 113-106 win. After the game, Maxey’s teammates weren’t the only ones who threw kudos his way. Several members of the Miami Heat noticed the kid’s rise to stardom. Bam Adebayo – a fellow Kentucky alum – saw an unstoppable sniper staring back at him late in the game.
“He’s hooping,” Adebayo said. “He’s got that look in his eyes, you can tell he wants those big moments, he wants to take those big shots. You know he’s from Kentucky, so I’ll give him that much credit, but that’s all I’m giving him.”
Jimmy Butler was one of three main guys tasked with guarding Maxey for much of the contest. The former Sixers player walked away equally impressed by the development of Philly’s newest star athlete.
“I mean, he is a heck of a player, obviously, the way he scored the ball in the fourth all throughout the game,” Butler said. “Drawing help and making the right plays, he’s been doing it all year long, I hear how hard that he works and I definitely respect him and his game and he’s going to be in this league for a long time just like one of the youngsters on my team and so many other youngsters around the league.”
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Adebayo Gets Friendly with Sixers Bench
A weird scene unfolded late in Monday’s game when Adebayo wandered over to the Sixers’ bench. The Heat big man had a huge smile on his face and appeared to be jawing at Maxey. Then, DeAndre Jordan stood up and shooed Adebayo away before anything could escalate. There’s probably not too much to read into it but Twitter was talking about it.
There was a feeling among members of the Miami media that the Heat didn’t take the game serious enough. Maybe they mailed it in once they found out Joel Embiid and James Harden were taking the night off. That wasn’t the case, according to Adebayo.
“No, I just feel like we didn’t bring that intensity that we usually bring for these games,” Adebayo said, “so we came out lackadaisical, not having that chip on our shoulder.”
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Erik Spoelstra Not Worried About Tyler Herro
Tyler Herro was the main victim of Maxey’s murderous scoring spree. He was responsible for giving up 12 of Maxey’s 28 total points in a mostly forgettable defensive performance.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra played off Herro’s struggles by complimenting the Sixers for creating separation. He also credited Herro for being one of their best defenders all year.
“It was a possession game and it got to about two minutes and Maxey banged home some big shots and they created that separation,” Spoelstra said. “But Tyler [Herro] has been one of our better individual defenders during the course of the year. I am going to chalk this up hopefully as an anomaly but hopefully it catches our attention as well.”