By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat faced off in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Philly did not have Joel Embiid and they put up all the fight they could muster against the Heat. They just did not have the horses to overcome the shooting of Miami. The Heat were able to clobber the Sixers 106-92 to take a one-to-nothing series lead.
The Heat jumped on Philly from the opening tip-off. They were able to attack the paint at will thanks to the absence of Joel Embiid who missed this game because of a concussion and a broken orbital bone. Bam Adebayo (24-points) and Tyler Herro (25-points) led them. They combined for 49 of the Heat’s 106-points. Philly just could not stop either one of them. It did not matter if a hand was in their face or not they were able to take advantage of Philly not being organized on the defensive end. The Sixers will need to improve their perimeter defense if they want to win this series and stop the Heat from getting easy shots from beyond the arc.
On what the team needs to improve on, “We’ll get better. We will settle into the series. Obviously, we are missing Joel. It’s something that’s out of our control, but we’ve got to go out there and man up and be great. I know we will because we are resilient,” said Sixers Point Guard James Harden.
Despite not having Joel Embiid. The Sixers put up a fight throughout this game despite the offensive explosion from Adebayo and Herro. Philly was able to battle back and take a one-point lead at half-time. They were led by Tobias Harris who scored 27-points and grabbed 11-rebounds. This was his best game offensively. Harris single-handedly kept them in the game on both sides of the ball. He made his presence felt on the defensive end. He defended Jimmy Butler well throughout this game as he was able to force him into taking some tough shots. Without Joel Embiid the scoring of Harris becomes more important and if he could get more help. Philly might be able to take this series.
As the Sixers head into game two on Wednesday night they will need to find a way to limit the offensive rebounding of the Heat. So that they do not get more than one opportunity at a shot. Additionally, they will need to get more balanced scoring if they want to tie this series.