After the Miami Heat dropped the last two games, it appeared as if the Philadelphia 76ers have changed the outcome of the series. Joel Embiid‘s return ignited the play of his teammates and Miami struggled with their shooting. However, things were different in Game 5. The Heat’s shooting returned, and their defense was even better. Since the first quarter, Miami had control throughout the whole game. The Heat simply outplayed the 76ers on both ends of the floor and won the game in dominant fashion. With the win, Miami now leads 3-2 in the series. Here are four takeaways from Miami’s win.
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Butler Sets the Tone
A lot of pressure was on Miami coming into Game 5. The winner of this game would take control of the series heading into Game 6. With so much riding on this game, it was Jimmy Butler who set the tone from the start. The Heat star provided an early scoring boost with his points in the paint. Philadelphia had no answer for him all night. Butler was able to stick to his strengths without any deterrence. His early scoring ended up opening the game for his teammates as well. Butler ended the night with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Scoring Boost from the Bench
After two dominant games from Butler, the Heat star needed help from his teammates. He most definitely got it from Victor Oladipo. Oladipo was the Heat’s second-best player offensively on Tuesday. He continued to provide rim pressure against the 76ers’ defense. The short jumper in the middle of the floor was there all night, and he converted on those. Defensively, he was very disciplined against James Harden without fouling. There were some flashes of the old Oladipo with the way he was able to attack the middle. Overall, it was a solid night for the Heat guard. He finished the night with 13 points.
The Strus Got Loose
The Heat struggled in Games 3 and 4 from beyond the arc. Miami had open looks but just couldn’t knock them down. If they wanted to win Game 5, they had to knock those shots down, and Max Strus answered the call. The three-pointers were falling for Strus last night. He shot three-pointers with confidence and also knocked them down when the offense got a little stagnant. He also took a couple of drives to the basket. This was much needed from both Strus and the Heat. The Heat sharpshooter ended the night with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Adebayo Aggressive Defensively
Bam Adebayo played huge for the Heat last night. Even though he wasn’t scoring as much, He wasn’t afraid to go at Embiid. He took the jumper whenever Embiid sagged off him and attacked the boards for second-chance opportunities. Defensively, he made even more of an impact. Slowing down Embiid is a tough assignment for anyone, but Adebayo did a great job of that in Game 5. He limited Embiid’s touches by fronting him on multiple possessions. When Embiid tried to bait Adebayo on his pump fakes, Adebayo didn’t bite. Hopefully, Adebayo keeps this aggressive mindset going forward. He finished the night with 12 points and six rebounds.
Next Up: Game 6 on Thursday. The game tips off at 7 pm eastern on ESPN.
Follow Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23