Game 2 in Miami was torture for 76er fans. Everyone expected the Sixers defense to struggle against the Miami Heat’s superstars, but you probably will have a hard time finding anyone who expected the Sixer offense to be this pathetic. Thirty-one first half points wasn’t laughable, it wasn’t embarrassing. It was a sick joke. It was unwatchable.
In the biggest road game of the year, one that could’ve shaken the foundation of the Heat, the 76ers instead curled up in the fetal position. Evan Turner— of all people—was the only Sixer with any scoring ability in the first half. Even Miami center Joel Anthony, one of the most uncoordinated NBA players ever, was getting his flow on against the lifeless Sixers.
Many things have to drastically change for the Sixers to not get blown out of the water tonight at Wells Fargo Center. After the jump I am going to point out 5 keys to tonight’s game for the Sixers.
1) Andre Iguodala has to score the basketball. Sixer fans should want Iguodala to score over 20 points for the remaining games of the series. It might help us win, but it still probably won’t matter. The real reason we need him to start displaying ANYTHING on offense is so he can become more trade friendly. Hopefully some NBA teams will completely forget about the 9 total points he has in two games. And outside of the first and fourth quarters in Game 1, where has Iguodala’s defense been? If we are able to steal a game from the Heat and he comes up big, some team might be dumb enough to trade for him.
2) Elton Brand needs to take at least 15 shots.
Brand’s hot start in Game 1 was the main reason the Sixers were holding on to the lead for a good portion of the game. Then in Game 2 it was like Doug Collins forgot about his leading scorer. Brand was 1-for-5 for 3 points…Ew. I’ve been clamoring for Brand to get touches late in close games too. Elton Brand is no superstar, but Elton Brand is a veteran, and someone who is going to have to score 20 points for the Sixers to not get lit on fire again.
3) Set a physical tone early
We already know that the Heat are going to get foul calls. That’s a given. So when we foul them, we need to foul the living crap out of them. I want to see Dwayne Wade hit the hardwood and come up wincing. I wouldn’t mind seeing Iguodala get a technical by getting in LeBron’s face. Doug Collins should show his youngin’s the early 90’s Bad Boys Detroit Pistons videos. That’s the type of attitude the Sixers need to protect their home court and let the Heat know that this won’t be a cake walk like Game 2.
4) Someone besides Thaddeus Young needs to be crucial off the bench.
Thad may no longer be the 76ers ‘little secret weapon’. That’s fine. As long as he keeps 19 points and 8.5 boards, Philly should have a chance. So who other than Thad is going to give us that push? Lou Williams has looked rusty (4-for-18). I guess that leaves us with Evan Turner, who is coming off a 15 point performance where he was 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Don’t be shocked if you see Turner playing over 30 minutes tonight.
5) Jodie Meeks needs to be aggressive.
Meeks had averaged 17.5 ppg in the two regular season games played against Miami. Now the Heat have limited the Sixer sharpshooter to just 8 ppgin the two contests. When Jodie’s at his best he’s shooting quickly on the shot clock and early in the game. I’m not opposed to having him fire up five three pointers in the opening period. If he can catch fire at home, the Heat may trip up in game three.