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The 76ers’ coach started second half with key adjustment for massive win in Philadelphia

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A different starting five for the Sixers, after the halftime break, lead to a blowout win in the first game of the playoffs.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown subbed Ersan Ilyasova for Amir Johnson to start the second half, and the Miami Heat, for whatever reason, didn’t capitalize on the move.

The 76ers went to a catch-and-shoot offense orchestrated by Ben Simmons, whom the Miami Heat strangely did not double-team when he had the basketball.

Adding a fourth 3-point threat, in place of the initial three, spread the floor for Simmons, who had too many opportunities when left unguarded, or in a single-man coverage, to feed his teammates for high-percentage shots.

Unlike a Damian Lillard, Simmons doesn’t do 3-pointers, so defenses back off him daring him to shot, instead he crosses them up by using that extra room not by trying to score, but finding an open man for a basket.

Per NBA stats the 76ers lead all NBA teams yesterday with 56 catch-and-shoot points, followed by the Golden State Warriors 44, Toronto Raptors 35, Heat 33.

Points by type

TOTAL 130 103
CATCH-SHOOT 56 62.5 33 47.8
DRIVES 24 47.6 11 25.0
FREE THROWS 22 75.9 21 67.7
PAINT TOUCH 16 44.4 14 53.8
PULL-UPS 8 21.4 11 27.8
POST TOUCH 0 0.0 2 100.0
ELBOW TOUCH 0 0.0 7 50.0

For the game the 76ers didn’t score any points on post or elbow touches, and they held the Heat to 25% makes on drives.

Both teams will make adjustments for the second game, and trapping Simmons like other teams trap Goran Dragic at half court, may limit, but not eliminate, some of the damage from the catch-and-shoot long-range aces.

To think the 76ers went from a 6’ All-Star iso-type guard in Allen Iverson, to a 6’10” Magic Johnson clone in Ben Simmons is amazing.