The Philadelphia 76ers knew they had to make changes coming into Game 2. The 76ers started the game playing with more ball movement and found early success against the Miami Heat‘s defense. Tyrese Maxey also had a career postseason game as well. Every time the Heat made a huge run, the 76ers kept climbing back into the game. However, the Heat ended the game with a huge run to seal the victory. This was very similar to the ending in Game 1. With the win, Miami moves to 2-0 in the series against the 76ers. Here are four takeaways from Wednesday’s victory over Philadelphia.
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Adebayo Continues to Feast
Without Joel Embiid, the Bam Adebayo has a favorable matchup against Philadelphia. Adebayo has been aware of that. He knows he has the quickness to get past DeAndre Jordan and the size against the backup bigs. The 76ers also haven’t had much of an answer for the Tyler Herro-Adebayo pick-and-rolls. This was evident again in Game 2. Herro kept feeding Adebayo on the roll with a clear runway to the basket. Defensively, he continued to make life miserable for the 76ers offense as well. Overall, this was a good performance from the Heat center. Adebayo finished the night with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Herro Breaking Down Coverages Again
A day after receiving his Sixth Man of the Year award, Herro was once again a pain in the neck for the 76ers. Herro continued to find success in the high pick-and-roll actions. He kept making the right reads and passes depending on the defensive coverage. He also found success scoring whenever he wanted to. Whenever the 76ers made their run, Herro would answer with a big shot of his own. He did, however, had a couple of turnovers late in the game from being too careless with the ball. Despite the turnovers late in the game, Herro still had a good overall game though. He finished the night with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Switching to Zone
In Game 1, the 76ers caused issues for Miami with their zone defense in the first half. The Heat’s offense was struggling and there was no one flashing middle. On Wednesday, the 76ers went to the zone less because Miami was able to exploit it early. But now, it was Miami who went to the zone. Miami went with the zone a lot and was able to stifle the 76ers offense a bit. Before getting into the 2-3 zone, Miami would pressure the 76ers with the 2-2-1 zone. Of course, it’s something Miami doesn’t want to use too long because teams usually break through it. There were also moments where Maxey exploited the zone with his quickness. Expect to see more zone from both teams throughout the series.
Victor Oladipo turned 30 years old on Wednesday. He remained in the Heat’s rotation was very impactful in his minutes. The adjustment alongside Jimmy Butler and Herro has taken time. In Game 1, he was primarily used as an off-ball threat whenever he shared the floor with the two players. But on Wednesday, the ball was put in his hands more. He knocked down a couple of three-pointers and attacked the paint in transition. The offensive fit is still an adjustment, but Oladipo has proven he deserves minutes. His defense on James Harden was huge. Oladipo did a good job of staying in front of him and making him work for his offense. Oladipo finished the night with 19 points and six rebounds.
Next up: Game 3 on Friday. The game starts at 7 pm eastern time.
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