Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sixers eliminated by Heat but show plenty of heart

The Heat did what everyone expected on Wednesday night and knocked the Sixers out of the first round. Of course, if you had told me before their series that the Heat would eliminate the Sixers in 5 games, I would have said that was about right. In fact, I even picked that exact outcome before the playoffs started. So, while the result of their series with the Heat isn't all that surprising, the way that the Sixers played certainly was.

On paper, the Sixers clearly had much less talent than the Miami Heat. On paper, they didn't have anyone who could guard LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, let alone anyone that could score on them. Nevertheless, the Sixers played the Heat close in nearly every game, only getting blown out in Game 2 of the series. The Sixers showed a ton of heart in every time they took the floor, forcing the Heat to have to earn every victory as they pushed them from beginning to end in every game.

While the Sixers season has ended, they have plenty to look forward to in the future. It all starts with Doug Collins, who immediately brought credibility to the team and deserves a ton of credit for how he has molded all of the young talent of the Sixers. Jrue Holiday and Thad Young are two pieces who blossomed under Collins this year and they are stars in the making. Elton Brand also had a bit of a renaissance, having his best season yet with the Sixers. Even Evan Turner, who had an up and down year to say the least, showed flashes in the playoffs of someone who can be a bigger contributor for the Sixers in a few years.

The Sixers deserve a standing ovation from all of us in Philadelphia. This team has been overlooked for the past few seasons but the light appears to be at the end of the tunnel. In a few more years if the Sixers can add a few more pieces, they have the makings of a team that can make a deep run into the playoffs.

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