The Philadelphia 76ers had a heck of a night on Monday in Game 1 against the Miami Heat.
Philly was missing their star player, Joel Embiid, and they knew that would hurt them in many ways.
Sure enough, the Heat were able to bat the 76ers around like a cat plays with a ball of string.
For a while, it looked like the 76ers could close the gap but the game concluded with a painful 106-92 loss for Philly.
Following the game, the players were trying to assess where things went wrong.
Tobias Harris said the Heat “bullied” the Sixers on the boards for a stretch in the third quarter — called it “unacceptable.”
— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) May 3, 2022
One of the biggest issues for the 76ers was the Heat’s defense, which just continually shut the 76ers down again and again.
Tobias Harris said that the Heat “bullied” Philadelphia on rebounds in the third quarter.
Harris said the number of rebounds the Heat grabbed was “unacceptable.”
He’s not wrong – but what will the 76ers do about it?
Cooling Off The Heat
The Heat have been waiting for this moment all season long – they have been dominant and eager to make it far into the postseason.
That means that slowing this team down will be very hard to do.
It’s even harder because Embiid won’t return until Game 3 or 4 at the very earliest.
Until then, his team will have to formulate ways to stop the Heat.
That means they need to focus more on rebounds, as the Heat did on Monday night.
They will also need to be better about their shot selection too.
James Harden, who is supposed to be the best shooter on Philly’s roster, had an awful night on Monday, ending up with just 16 points and going 2-for-7 beyond the three-point line.
In the next few days, Philadelphia will have to work hard to improve multiple areas of their game if they wish to even the series.