Going in to a seven-game series with the Miami Heat, even the biggest Philadelphia 76ers fan had to assume the Heat would prevail. Although the Heat don’t have a bench like the Sixers, they have two of the best basketball players in the world on their team, along with an All-Star caliber forward in Chris Bosh.
In order for the Sixers to squeak out a win they have to dictate the flow of the game. They must make it an uptempo game and force Miami to utilize their bench more. If the Sixers can push the ball for 48 minutes, they’ll have an advantage over Miami when they rest their stars and play one of the many miscellaneous players on the bench.
The Sixers also need to get more production out of Andre Iguodala. I fully understand that Iguodala has the task of trying to stop LeBron James. For the most part he’s doing a great job of slowing James down, it’s almost impossible to stop him but Iguodala is making James work for every basket.
Unfortunately only bringing it on the defensive side won’t cut it. During the season Iguodala averaged 14.1 points, however in the playoffs his average dropped to 4.5 points.
Lou Williams also needs to step up his play. Williams needs to return to the form that had him in the mix for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Williams is only averaging nine points in the playoffs, as opposed to 13.7 during the season.
The Sixers also need to force Dwyane Wade to beat them. That may not be hard for him to do, but if the Sixers can force Wade to take more shots than he normally does, that’ll keep James, and Bosh from beating them.
Out of the three members of the Heatles, Wade dominates the ball the most. If the Sixers can force Wade to become a volume shooter, guys like James, and Bosh will get less shots and will have less of an impact on the game.
Lastly the Sixers need for Jrue Holiday to expose Mike Bibby. Despite playing in his first playoff series, Holiday needs to take advantage of the slow-footed Bibby. Holiday is faster than Bibby and can beat him off the dribble every time down the floor. If Holiday realizes how much of a mismatch he has over Bibby, the Sixers have a fighter’s chance in game three.
Going in to the series I figured the Sixers would win two games and lose in six. However after they let the Heat survive the first game, and looked completely outmatched in the second game, I know longer think they have a chance at advancing.
If the Sixers are going to win any game in the series it HAS to be game three. But if they don’t win game three, then the Sixers need get their golf clubs and fishing equipment out because, Miami will win the series in four.