Saturday, April 16, 2011

Heat overcome, outlast Sixers in Game 1

The Sixers came out firing on all cylinders against the Heat in Game 1, making nearly every shot as they jumped out to an early double digit lead. The Heat unfortunately took over from there, using a big second quarter to build a lead that the Sixers couldn't quite overcome despite a late rally. In the end, while the Sixers can take away several positives from their performance, they still lost, 97-89.

Several Sixers had good individual games, including Thaddeus Young, who had 12 4th quarter points and 20 overall, and Jrue Holiday, who had 19 points, 5 assists and 5 boards. Young was his usual park off the bench while Holiday came up big late in the game, hitting a pair of 3's that pulled the Sixers within 3 in the late stages. Supposed team leader Andre Iguodala did not play well offensively, scoring just 4 points on 2 of 7 shooting while turning the ball over 4 times. Iggy did have 8 board and 9 assists but the Sixers need more from him if they want to pull out close games.

The Big Three for the Heat did exactly what they are expected to do, scoring a combined 63 points and 33 rebounds as they took over the game after the Sixers cooled off after a hot first quarter. The Heat also did a tremendous job getting to the line, earning 39 free throw attempts, dwarfing the Sixers 15 attempts.

While they fell short on the scoreboard, the Sixers can take a lot of positives out of Game 1. The Sixers did a good job in transition, shot the ball pretty well and didn't have a large number of turnovers. The Sixers also guarded LeBron and Dwyane Wade about as well as you can, although I would like to see less of Jodie Meeks trying to guard Wade. With their early lead and their late run, the Sixers showed that they won't just lay down because the Heat are the more talented team. If they can just hit a few more shots and not hack the Heat quite as often, the Sixers could make this into a very interesting series.

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