The Philadelphia 76ers used their youthful energy to outrebound a lethargic Miami Heat team 31 to 9 in the second half last time around and walk away with a 104-102 win.
The failure to box out the 76ers on the boards was the main culprit and will be the main point of emphasis by the Heat.
Besides fixing the glaring rebounding issue, what else can the Heat do to stymie the 76ers?
One quirk of the 76ers lies in them being a predominately a right-handed team, which has more success on that side of the court, as the FG% figures for their last 7 games show.
- Restricted area: 74% (1st)
- Paint (non-RA): 38% (19th)
- Mid-range: 44% (9th)
- Left corner 3: 29% (24th)
- Right corner 3: 75% (1st)
- Above break 3: 38% (10th)
They demolished teams in the restricted with their elite athletic ability around the rim.
On the other hand the vast difference between the corner-3 FG% shows catching with their left hand and setting the ball up for a right handed shot, from left side of court,is an issue for them.
Even against Miami, Philadelphia scored primarily from the right side of the court.
Made attempts in 1st half for the 76ers in the previous game against the Heat.
Made attempts in 2nd half for the 76ers in their previous game against the Heat.
In the Joel Embiid highlight video below he always finishes with his right hand. When forced to go left towards the basket, a defender can anticipate him making a crossover or spin move back to his right side.
However shifty, quick, nimble Embiid may be, a defender knows Embiid hardly uses his left hand to finish at the rim.
Joel may trick opponents with an occasional left-handed finish, but defenders have to accept his few successes as part of the process.
Ben Simmons can finish with both hands, but he still prefers to attack with the right hand, and uses a variety of spin moves to eventually get the job done as a righty.
The videos show that, while they’re strong finishers at the rim, they haven’t developed an all-around bag of tricks that experienced NBA stars possess to keep teams honest.
In the Memphis Grizzles game Dwyane Wade had a +26 in just 18 minutes of floor time again young, inexperienced players.
Most notably Wade has an elite ability to read the floor and mentally be one move ahead of everyone else, even though his quickness has diminished over time.
The 76ers beat the Heat with Wade last time, but he has gotten more comfortable with his teammates and leading them on the court with his extraordinary vision.
He won’t be able to physically keep up Embiid or Simmons, but he can trick them into making mistakes that over-confident rookies or sophomores commit.
Another consideration is who the 76ers defeated in 7-game win streak: Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic.
No doubt the 76ers are on the roll, but as a unit they haven’t been together for a long time and make rookie blunders, that their athletic ability can hide only up to a point.
Which Miami team will show up on Tuesday: the first half or second half version from the previous game?