By: Kylan Watson
Over the weekend, the Philadelphia 76ers faced the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The 76ers fed off a raucous crowd and some hot shooting to beat the Heat by a score of 130-103. In just one game of their playoff series, the Sixers may have cemented themselves as the team to beat in these playoffs.
It was not looking good for the 76ers early on, they were down by four points by half-time, and they were not hitting their shots. The Heat used some hot shooting from the three-point line, and the contributions of their second unit to stop the momentum of the Sixers. One player who benefitted from the Heat’s hot shooting was Heat Center, Kelly Olynyk who scored 14 of his 26 points in the first-half.
The Sixers came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. The Sixers created a lot of turnovers and used it to jump start their offense. The Sixers were also able to jump start their three-point shooting because of the Heat’s mistakes.
The Sixers hit 18 three-pointers, the most three-point shots made in the history of the playoffs. Sixers Guard, JJ Reddick benefitted the most from the Sixers hot shooting. He scored 28 points. Reddick was the Sixers leading scorer and hit big shots when the Sixers needed them the most.
Reddick was not the only one who had a really good game as Sixers Guard, Marco Belinelli also performed very well. He scored 25 points and was inserted into the starting line-up to help the Sixers with their outside shooting. This was a good move by Brett Brown, Belinelli’s play made his coach look like a genius.
Ben Simmons also had a big game and was the player who got his teammates involved. He scored 17 points, had 14 assists, and grabbed nine rebounds. Simmons really played like a playoff veteran, instead of a rookie. Simmons was the leader on the floor for the Sixers, it was his passing that helped Reddick and Belinelli get open shots. Simmons was able to get his teammates involved in the game and that was the turning-point of this game.
The Sixers dominated the Heat in game 1 and did all of this without Joel Embiid. Who will be back most likely in Game 3 of these playoffs. The Sixers are looking like the most complete team in these playoffs, of course they have only played one game. The Sixers will look to get out to a 2-0 series lead tonight at 8 pm EST on TNT.