76ers fall behind 2-0 to the Miami Heat after a 119-103 loss in South Beach
The Philadelphia 76ers lost their second straight game in Miami, losing 119-103 while digging themselves into a 2-0 hole heading back to Philly for Game 3 on Friday night.
With no Joel Embiid, it was always going to be tough-sledding for the Sixers but the issues the team has faced over the first two games have been even more frustrating than what was expected.
Why the 76ers Lost Game 2
- The 76ers (minus Harris/Maxey) shot 4-of-21 from the floor and scored 13 points in the 2nd half.
- Matisse Thybulle played 21 minutes and didn’t attempt a field goal.
- Danny Green was 1-for-10 from the floor, 1-for-9 from three point range.
- Georges Niang played 10 minutes and had six fouls.
- The 76ers shot 27% from three point range (8-for-30)
- Furkan Korkmaz led the team with six rebounds.
Just like in Game 1, the Sixers had several chances to keep this game close but every time they crept within five points, Miami had an answer.
- Jimmy Butler: 8-for-15 FG, 22 PTS, 12 AST
- Bam Adebayo: 7-for-11 FG, 24 PTS, 9 REB
- Tyler Herro: 6-for-10 FG, 18 PTS, 7 REB
- Victor Oladipo: 6-for-11, 18 PTS, 7 REB
Tyrese Maxey Bounces Back
Tyrese Maxey bounced back in a big way tonight for the 76ers, scoring 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting. In the second half, Maxey and Tobias Harris combined to shoot 13-of-18 from the floor for 38 points. The rest of the 76ers team shot 4-of-21 from the floor for a total of 13 points.
James Harden Struggles
James Harden has been the main focus of Miami’s defense. The Heat have thrown just about everything at Harden to slow him down and have been rather effective in doing just that. Between PJ Tucker harassing him all over the court, to doubling him on every pick and roll, the Heat have a clear mission to keep him out of the equation.
Still, Harden has been disappointing. He continues to force drives and fall back into a miserable isolation offensive set while failing to create any type of separation to find an efficient shot. Just like last game, Harden disappeared in the second half, scoring just four points. He ended the night with 20 points, four rebounds, and nine assists.
Harden faces and extreme amount of scrutiny and rightfully so, but his game is being struck at the knees by a defense that has no fear of this team’s shooters. He managed to dish out nine assists when Philadelphia shot just 27% from three and 45% from the field.
Harden’s game is no longer predicated on putting up 25 shots a night anymore, and if this team had any reliable jump shooters, his performance tonight would be a non-issue.
The 76ers can’t Shoot or Rebound.
The Sixers can’t shoot. After an 18 percent performance from beyond the arc on Monday, they delivered a 27 percent shooting effort tonight from three point range. Georges Niang played 10 minutes, made one three, talked a bunch of meaningless shit, and then fouled out of the game. Danny Green, a veteran that should be stepping up without Embiid has made just 2-of-14 shots from beyond the arc.
Reminder: Danny Green and Georges Niang are literally on this team to make three pointers.
Regardless, the Sixers bench has been outscored 92-40 in the first two games of this series and something has to give if they want to win four of the next five games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Deandre Jordan wasn’t as noticeably bad as he was in Game 1, but the rebounding effort was just as pathetic. I’m not sure what the change has to be in this team to make them realize how detrimental their thorough lack of effort is on the boards, but it kills them every single game. Miami out-hustled the 76ers so many occasions where they maintained the ball for multiple possessions, ultimately turning them into backbreaking second chance points.
While everyone is going to lose their minds over this game, let’s remember the fact of the matter here. Joel Embiid has yet to play in this series, and the Heat have not dominated in his absence, this series is not over. You’re not in trouble in the NBA Playoffs until you lose at home, and pending an Embiid return in Game 3, it seems like this series is still very much up for grabs.
Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated