Blog Entry

Sixers-Heat Game 3 Reactions

Posted on: April 22, 2011 3:56 am
 
Reactions from around the web to Sixers-Heat Game 3.

Posted by Matt Moore
The Heat’s big three demand so much attention and warrant extra bodies to keep them bottled up in the half court. It’s a distraction that spreads the opposing defense thin once the ball goes up, inviting other Heat players to slide into the paint from the weakside. Standing at 7-foot-3, Zydrunas Ilgauskas grabbed eight offensive rebounds simply by positioning himself in the pockets under the basket and playing volleyball near the rim.

“Z probably jumps two inches off the ground,” Heat center Chris Bosh said after the game. “But he has such long arms and his tip game is great. We just wanted to give ourselves second chances.”
via Heat at Sixers, Game 3: Five things we saw - Heat Index Blog - ESPN.

We're seeing this same effective across several series. The Bulls are slaughtering the Pacers on the offensive glass because Indiana has to send three defenders at Rose on any given possession. The result is that there are often several players out of possession trying to force a Rose miss. If he makes it, they're doomed. If he misses, there's two Bulls in position for a putback or a reset for Rose to drive again, and once again, they're doomed. The Sixers faced this problem in triplicate, resulting in the Heat's sub-par bigs cleaning up. Stopping these elite players when they're driving is tough enough. But having to do it and grab the carom is nearly impossible, and that's what we're seeing. Even the Celtics are struggling with it agianst the Knicks. Granted, the Celtics have been a bad offensive rebounding team all season, but Amar'e and Melo are creating even more issues. 
Like I previously mentioned, Brand's mid-range game was on point tonight. It was so refreshing to see him get those attempts off that were missing from his repertoire in Game 2. Although he worked wonders on offense, he was giving Chris Bosh way too much room on the defensive end. Bosh missed his first few attempts, but came back strong and took advantage of all the leeway Brand so graciously gift wrapped for him. He did a much better job on the glass than he did in the previous two games, putting 11 of them on the stat sheet. Impressive number, but his defensive rebounding percentage wasn't exactly encourageable (4.3% if I did the calculations right - I probably didn't).
via Heat Turn it On in the Fourth, Sixers a Game Away from Elimination - Liberty Ballers.

 Brand's defensive lapses were certainly disappointing, but against Bosh, it really is a mismatch. Bosh has to be guarded not only by a player big enough to disrupt him, but long enough to contest his shots. Brand's got decent bulk, but has lost weight to reduce wear and tear on his body. He's simply not long enough to stick Bosh in the mid-post. Bosh's best performance in a three-game set has come at the right time, and he deserves a world of credit for putting the Heat in the next round, once they wrap up this series. 
Throughout, the Heat absorbed, absorbed, absorbed. And when they saw it was time, they conquered the moment, and ultimately, the Sixers, 100-94, to take a commanding, 3-0 lead with a chance to close it out on Sunday at 1 p.m.

So exhausted were the Sixers that a 75-73 lead after three quarters quickly evaporated as they missed eight of their first 10 shots to help Miami forge a 90-80 lead.
via Valiant Sixers fall to Heat in Game 3 | Philadelphia Daily News | 04/21/2011.

Whereas the Bulls are sprinting past the Pacers to the finish, the Heat are simply grinding teams down to their nubs. Both have their advantages in a playoff setting. The Sixers threw the kitchen sink at the Heat in the first and third games, but each time, the Heat have simply maintained, and outlasted. It's a stirring show of consistency which has been sorely lacking from Miami all year. 

The Sixers' strength was their depth, but needing a win so badly, the Sixers shortened their rotation and put their best players on the floor for the majority of the game. And in the end, the Heat simply had more fuel. Kick on the afterburners, and fly on by. The Sixers really did just need one more star player to give them the extra ammo. Without it, they're in an 0-3 hole. 
Dwyane Wade made a significant adjustment by getting the ball on the move. That changed everything about the 76ers’ defense, and also changed Wade’s scoring average in the series. He also pushed through a jammed shoulder. This was his moment.
via Heat 100, 76ers 94 – Miami Heat – Sun-Sentinel.

If you want something really to be scared of? The biggest thing that's shown up in this series has been the return of Dwyane Wade's speed. That looked to be gone in the regular season. It looks back. That's frightening. Three times in the second half, the Sixers sent two defenders to try and slow Wade's dribble. Wade found James. What are you going to do? 

Which is pretty much what Philadelphia's been asking since the series started. 
Comments

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: April 22, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Sixers-Heat Game 3 Reactions

Well, the Heat did pull off a W in Philly, which is a big deal.  But I really wanted to see them dominate a game on the road.  They really did not do that in game 3, but they seemed in control most of the game.  The Heat still have a ways to go in terms of achieving their potential, but a win on the road in a series is indeed significant.  And let's not forget about Chris Bosh.  It seems he really shines at times for this team, mostly when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are covered up.  He has been a key performer in several games this year as well.  Looks to me like the Heat have this series all wrapped up, but Game 4 will be a key measure as to how well this team has come together.  The Sixers are a good team and well coached.  A big win for the Heat on the road would be significant progress for this potentially great team.


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