Well, we officially have a series now. Both the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat took care of business at home. In Game 4, the Heat got the same contributions they got from others in Game 3. And that was the lack of outside shooting from the supporting cast. They got an incredible effort from Jimmy Butler but not much from others. The 76ers, however, got big games from both their star players. They ended up pulling away from Miami in the end. With the loss, the series is tied 2-2 heading back to Miami for Game 5. Here are my takeaways from Miami’s loss against Philadelphia.
Heat Cold from Outside
The outside shooting for Miami was non-existent in Game 4. They shot 7-of-35(20%) from downtown compared to Philadelphia shooting 16-of-33(48.5%) from downtown. When you’re shooting that bad from three, it’s going to be tough to win the game. Miami was unable to get good shooting nights from Tyler Herro, Max Strus, and Kyle Lowry. Lowry was 0-of-4 from downtown. It’s also wild that the 76ers shot 48.5 percent from three considering how they usually struggle from there. But with Miami sending multiple defenders at Joel Embiid, it gives them more open looks. If Miami wants to retake this series lead, they’re going to need a better shooting performance.
Butler Carrying the Scoring Load
Just like in Game 3, Butler took over the scoring load for Miami. Miami’s star kept attacking the paint and hit on a few jumpers. He had 15 points in the first half. With Bam Adebayo picking up his fourth foul in the third period, Butler took it to another level in the period. Butler kept driving to the paint with force and hit on a three-pointer as well. He was the main reason why Miami was still within striking distance. He just didn’t have as much help from his supporting cast. Overall, this was a brilliant performance from Butler. Butler finished the night with 40 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.
Adebayo Shows More Aggression
Game 3 was a terrible game from Adebayo. He wasn’t as aggressive and was not even looking to attack the basket. In Game 4, he showed more aggression to the basket. We started seeing more of the Adebayo we saw in Games 1 and 2. He attacked on the roll to the basket and scored a few times in the post. He really showed his aggression when Embiid was benched. The only thing that slowed Adebayo down was foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul after guarding Embiid and had to sit for the majority of the third period. Despite Adebayo being bench, Miami was able to trim the lead down to four points. Hopefully, Adebayo can carry this aggression into Game 5. Adebayo ended the night with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Lowry Appears Limited
In two games this series, Lowry hasn’t looked right. He had two fastbreak layups and kept limping back on defense. You can tell that the injury is still bothering him. He continues to struggle on his jump shots with the hamstring limiting him. Lowry continued to fight through the injury. He was able to get to the basket a couple of times but not finish. The injury is something the Heat are going to monitor over the next two days. It’s likely going to tighten up in the next 24 hours. Lowry finished with six points and seven assists.
Next up: Game 5 on Tuesday. The tipoff time is at 7:30 pm eastern time.
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Main Image was designed by Jeremy Guerin @jeremycguerin