The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers square off again tonight in Miami, and the 76ers hope to pick up where they left off in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s close loss.
The Heat turned things around after an early sluggish start in Game 1, only to cling to dear life as Philly made a fantastic run to make the game close at the end. Regardless, the “Heatles” came together when it mattered most and closed out the Sixers, and now aim to do it again in Game 2 on Monday night.
Why Philadelphia Will Win
The 76ers saw some bright play from Jrue Holiday, while Thaddeus Young chipped in some solid offense off the bench, and Elton Brand banged Miami’s weak post players into submission.
The truth is, this is a scrappy team that can play very efficiently on both ends of the court when they’re on top of their game. However, even when they’re bringing their best stuff, their overall talent still doesn’t match up to a team like the Heat, so any game they’re going to take will likely involve some clutch plays in the fourth quarter.
That will mean Andre Iguodala will have to step up and deliver in a matter other than getting a defensive stop, and Elton Brand will have to be more vocal and dominant in the post. If Philly can play their game and keep the same intensity they had, even when down big, against the Heat in Game 1, they stand a chance to steal game two.
Who wins tonight's game?
Why Miami Will Win
The Heat are obviously one of the most talented team’s in the league, and judging them off of their top three stars alone, they have the best combination of any three players on their starting roster. But even despite their talent, they just play well together. The same couldn’t be said earlier in the year, but this is now a battle-tested team that has faced adversity and survived it.
Miami definitely has major flaws at the point and their muscle and efficiency inside, but their big three have been able to erase any major faults to this point. If Philadelphia concentrates on attacking those weak points and can also find a way to slow down of the “new big three”, then they’ll have a chance. But for Miami, all they really have to do is play their tempo and never let their foot off the gas. If they can keep focused and stay relentless, they can’t lose.
Obviously the availability of star shooting guard Dwyane Wade has to play into affect here, but I don't think he misses this game. If he does, Philly has a good chance of stealing a close one.
Miami hung on for a close one in game one, so logic suggests either the 76ers have a blue print and will put it to good use, or the Heat realize their complacency and amp up the tempo and intensity. If the Heat bring it, they’ll roll in game two.
Heat 107, 76ers 92
Follow me on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin