Rivers, Harden, and the 76ers come up short in game one, lose 106-92 in Miami
The 76ers had every chance to steal game one in South Beach tonight but stumbled in the second half and let the game slip away, losing 92-106 to the Miami Heat.
Why the 76ers Lost
- The 76ers shot 6-34 from three point range (18.2%)
- The 76ers used 11 different players in the first 15 minutes of the game
- James Harden only took 13 shots (5-for-13)
- 76ers 37 Rebounds (9 OREB). Heat 47 Rebounds (15 OREB)
- Niang and Green combined for 48 minutes and scored 5 points (2-13 FG, 1-12 3PT)
Tobias Harris was the only 76ers player to show up tonight, scoring 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the floor.
James Harden only took 13 shots, finishing the night with 16 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. Harden scored just four points in the second half. Unacceptable with Joel Embiid not playing.
Tyrese Maxey scored 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor but couldn’t get anything to fall from beyond the arc, shooting just 1-for-6 from three point range. Outside of the available “Big 3” for the Sixers, no other player scored over five points. Furkan Korkmaz finished with nine points but that doesn’t even count because it all came in garbage time.
Danny Green finished the night with 5 points, Georges Niang scored zero in 22 minutes, while Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle combined to shoot 2-of-6 from the floor and 0-3 from three point range.
For the Miami Heat, Tyler Herro torched the Sixers off the bench, leading the Heat with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 4-of 6 from three point range. Bam Adebayo had his way in the paint, scoring 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting with 12 rebounds.
I’m not sure where the preparation was for game one but it appeared that Doc Rivers wanted to “figure things out” on the fly, playing 11 different Sixers players over the first 15 minutes of the game.
With Deandre Jordan starting, the Sixers fell behind early, trailing 15-6. Jordan left the game after just four minutes with Adebayo 3-for-3 from the floor with six points. The paint was wide open and Jordan couldn’t stop anything coming his way, with Jimmy Butler knocking down wide open jumpers at will.
Paul Reed entered the game and really didn’t provide much either, drawing two quick fouls and a turnover that led to a Jimmy Butler three to extend Miami’s lead to 25-11.
In the second quarter, Paul Millsap started at center for the Sixers and that didn’t work either. Why would it work? Millsap didn’t even see the court in April and is 37 years old. Considering him a viable backup center is ridiculous to begin with.
Still, thanks in large to Tobias Harris, the 76ers found themselves with a one-point advantage at halftime, holding the Miami Heat to just two points over the final 4:40 minutes of the first half.
The 76ers came out for the second half and were absolutely lifeless. The transition offense and pace they played with in the first half was nonexistent. The Miami Heat owned the glass and it proved to be demoralizing for the Philadelphia 76ers, as DeAndre Jordan stood lifeless under the basket while Heat players got second and even third attempts at making shots in the paint.
The Sixers were outscored 30-21 in the third quarter and as if he was intentionally throwing the game, Doc Rivers put Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and DeAndre Jordan on the court at the same time in the fourth.
Deandre Jordan can’t even move, let alone jump and provided absolutely NOTHING to the 76ers offensively or defensively. It is honestly criminal that Doc Rivers allows him to get minutes during the second round of the playoffs.
Then you have this gem from Doc Rivers’ postgame presser:
I DO NOT CARE if Charles Bassey hasn’t played meaningful minutes all season. There’s no reason whatsoever that you wouldn’t give a 6’11” center with fresh legs a chance to prove himself while you have Paul Milsap and Deandre Jordan proving time and time again how useless they are while on the court. Bassey did get five minutes in garbage time scoring two points while grabbing two rebounds and an assist.
Regardless of the defensive blunders, the Sixers couldn’t buy a bucket tonight and it’s hard to believe that will continue in game two. I know tonight was tough to watch, especially in the second half, but I really don’t think that the Miami Heat are THAT good of a basketball team and the 76ers definitely have a shot at splitting the series before heading back to South Philadelphia for Game 3.