By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat faced off in game two of their second-round match-up. One of the things Philly needed to do was make their shots, and they might be able to keep up with the Heat. However, once again they were done in by their lack of players who can grab a rebound. Giving Miami those extra opportunities was there undoing in this game as they once again fell to the Heat 119-103. Miami now has a commanding two-to-zero lead as the series shifts to Philly on Friday night.
The Sixers were able to hit their shots early in the game and they had Miami on their heels throughout different portions of this game. Tyrese Maxey led them he refused to let his team fall in Miami. He played like a man possessed. Scoring 34-points and making Miami pay for daring to give him any space. He would blow by their defenders and attack the paint. Maxey kept this team in the game and Miami had to use a zone defense to slow him down. When they did that other than Tobias Harris and James Harden no one else could hit a shot for the Sixers. Philly could not buy a basket in the fourth quarter when Miami deployed the zone. They just could not hit their threes only hitting eight/30 three-pointers. Unfortunately for the Sixers the NBA is a make or miss league and right now they do not have the making shots portion of the game down right now.
On what the difference was in this game, “Shotmaking. It’s pretty simple. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to make shots. Especially on the road. It’s pretty simple. We had numerous chances,” said Sixers Point-Guard James Harden.
The Heat were able to take full advantage of them being the healthier and deeper team right now. They made Philly pay for every miss basket and every blown defensive assignment. Bam Adebayo (23-points) and Jimmy Butler (22-points) led them. They combined for 48 of the Heat’s 119-points. Both were able to grab pivotal offensive rebounds to bail out the Heat. When the Sixers stifled them defensively and those extra opportunities led to wide-open corner threes. That were back-breaking for Philly who just did not have anything for Miami on offense. Miami has benefitted from the absence of Joel Embiid and were still able to keep the Sixers down despite not forcing them into a lot of turnovers in this game.
As the series shifts to Philadelphia on Friday night. For Philly, the goal must be to get something out of a player not named Maxey, Harris, or Harden. Heading to their home-floor may help the role players get more involved offensively. Additionally, they will need to continue to limit their turnovers and offensive rebounds if they want to beat Miami and make this a series with or without Joel Embiid.