Quantcast 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: Round One - Miami vs Philadelphia

 

2011 NBA Playoff Preview – Eastern Conference First Round

Eastern Conference First Round Game 2 - Miami 94, Philadelphia 73 – Heat lead series, 2-0

 

 

This is how LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh envisioned their time as Miami Heat.

After a difficult Game 1, the stars aligned in South Beach for Game 2 as the All-Star trio and its compadres blitzed the offensively impotent Philadelphia 76ers in every facet of competition. It was a complete victory for the Heat, a needed confidence boost which showed that Saturday’s sometimes-wobbly performance was not a harbinger of even more indecisiveness, laziness or panic. With the other top seeds in the NBA struggling in their respective series, the Heat looked every bit the title contender all imagined they would be. More important was the fact that the Heat, who clearly soft-pedaled the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Game 1 and took the Sixers for granted, showed the professionalism and determination Coach Erik Spoelstra was looking for. The Heat need to approach the playoffs with the businesslike attitude that was largely missing during the regular season, in which Miami failed to hold big leads and allowed teams to mount successful fourth-quarter comebacks. The Heat needed this game to become an indicator of a new mentality, a flintier and more unforgiving edge that would beat down opponents.

That’s exactly what they summoned against Coach Doug Collins’ suffocated and paralyzed 76ers, who simply didn’t know how to react to the occasion at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

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LeBron James had 29 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists to pace the Heat. Bosh added 21 points and Wade chipped in 14. The only meaningful statistical comparison between the clubs was shooting percentage. The inability of the Sixers to get anything going on the offensive end caused them fits all evening. The Sixers shot just 34 percent and didn’t score over 21 points in any quarter. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner led Philadelphia in scoring off the bench with 18 and 15 points. However, those figures were collected in a game that was non-competitive throughout the second half.  The Heat led by 18 at halftime, 49-31, and extended their advantage to as many as 28 in the second half. Unlike its Game 1 fight, Philadelphia never led in Monday’s game.

 

 

It’s all because Miami didn’t fool around this time and didn’t play park-league basketball once it attained a comfortable working margin. The Heat kept grinding on defense, and although Philadelphia won’t be confused with the Boston Celtics or Chicago Bulls, the main point is that Miami needs to maintain this attitude if it wants to go far in the playoffs. We will see if the Heat can indeed sustain the frame of mind that has given them complete command of their first-round series.

 

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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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