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


2011 NBA Playoff Preview – Eastern Conference First Round

Eastern Conference First Round Game 5 - Miami 97, Philadelphia 91 – Heat win series, 4-1



It was as intense as a 4-1 series could be. The Miami Heat will take it, especially in light of the fact that their loose-lipped and imprudent superstar, LeBron James, had the gall to liken his first-round opponent to “breakfast.” Oh, this was much more unpleasant than a morning meal for Miami.

The much-hyped squad from South Beach got quite a competition from the upstart Philadelphia 76ers. In the end, the Sixers just couldn’t make enough plays at American Airlines Arena in Miami. After Philadelphia got off to its usual fast start, the Heat took control of the game in the middle section, and then held on for a close victory. With Miami leading 94-91 with 16 seconds remaining, the Sixers went to their closer Andre Iguodala. The on-and-off wing player missed an 18-foot jumper and the Sixers’ attempt at extending the series sang its last song. It was a disappointing end for the Sixers who, on the wings of terrific play from Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Jrue Holiday, had trimmed a 10 point Heat lead to one point (92-91) during the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

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The Heat shot just 40 percent from the field, again relying far too much on the outside shot. Philadelphia had 44 points in the paint compared to just 26 for Miami. Dwayne Wade and Lebron combined to shoot just 15-of-38 on the night. Luckily for the Heat, Mario Chalmers came to play. Chalmers hit six 3-pointers, many of which came at important times during the evening. Wade finished with a team-high 26 points, but everyone in the Miami camp has to know that this style of play and, more importantly, this level of performance will simply not cut it against the Boston Celtics, who await on Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, by far the most anticipated of the four second-round series in the NBA postseason.


Iguodala and teammate Elton Brand had 22 points in a losing effort for Philadelphia, which did very well to extend this series to five games and actually made the Heat sweat on multiple occasions over the past week and a half. The Iguodala-Brand duo combined to shoot 20-for-34 and the two savvy veterans kept the young Sixers afloat all game long. Philadelphia, like eighth-seeded Atlanta, is a team that needs to turn next season into a 10-game improvement, so that the first round will offer a real chance for advancement, and not just an early dismissal at the hands of a better ballclub.


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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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