The 76ers and Heat faced off in one of the most physical matchups in recent NBA Playoff history. There were shoving matches and nasty glances galore. The game went down to the wire, with the 76ers outplaying the Miami Heat in the final minutes and coming out with a 106-102 victory to take a 3-1 series lead.
Joel Embiid had possibly the worst offensive game of his career. He went 2 of 11 from the field and was 0 of 4 from beyond the arc. He also had 8 turnovers. However, he was absolutely massive on the defensive end. He was stifling inside the paint. He had a major chasedown block on Goran Dragic in the 4th quarter and finished with 5 blocks on the night.
Ben Simmons, despite becoming just the 5th NBA rookie to have a playoff triple double, had 7 turnovers on the night. He missed 3 of his 4 free throw attempts. Although to his credit, Simmons took over late in the game, slamming the ball down in the final minutes of the game and sparking a run that won them the match.
Overall, the 76ers ended up with 27 turnovers. They shot a poor 22% from deep. They allowed the Heat to get 23 points off of their turnovers and gave up 58 points in the paint and 21 fastbreak points. Those are not good numbers. In fact, they’re horrible.
Hassan Whiteside finally showed up and had a 13 point and rebound double double. Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade finished with 20 and 25 points, respectively. The Heat also shot better from deep than the 76ers.
In spite of the 76ers poor performance, they still beat the Heat. The Heat are a well known, well respected, and well coached team who have players that are gritty and tough. The Sixers still beat them.
That’s a very scary thing. The fact that such a young team can fight through such a lazy offensive game and still come out on top should frighten other top teams in the league. There is no doubt that the 76ers are a team the rest of the league should not want to match up against. Get ready NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers are coming for you.
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports