Almost without a shake, Miami won the first home game, ending the match against the Sixers in earnest and aggressive campaigns by Tyler Hero and Pam Adebayo.
The Sixers’ number one goal was to hold out over time, and the start didn’t bode well at this point, as Miami flew through the first five minutes of play, hitting 18-6 with PJ Tucker and Max Strus as well as yard Butler Adebayo.
However, Philadelphia did better than the resistance after that. By responding with an 11-0 result, Paul Reed wrapped it up, back to -3 (25-22) and then took the lead straight into the first half after 10-2 to crowd the break with the Maxi-Harden-Harris trio with the trio. Stick (50-51)!
Miami went back to basics to regain control of the match, with 3-pointers from PJ Tucker and Gabe Vincent but also Bam Adebayo dominated, as expected in Joel Embiid’s absence, along with PJ Tucker.
The Florida pivot gave his team a seven-point lead after an offensive rebound followed by two free throws (68-61). It was a heroic 2+1 score from Gabe Vincent and two superb shots from Tyler Hero that allowed the locals to drop Philly to 10 points (78-68).
At the start of the last quarter, the Sixers were still alive, at -8 (80-72), hoping to finally rock Miami. The scenario did not happen in the end. The Heat avoided some cold sweats thanks to two baskets behind Tyler Herro’s arc and four points from Bam Adebayo, giving the Floridians the biggest gap in the game six minutes from the end (96-77).
Max Strauss put in the final point with a dipping swipe into the time-out, and Miami managed to calmly finish off the run for a 106-92 win.
What to remember
Encouraging, but not sufficient. Sixers are promised hell in the absence of Joel Embiid. On arrival, Philly found a way to get ahead in the first half, only getting down on one knee at the start of the fourth quarter, and quickly finding himself at -19. It’s even encouraging, even if it takes more hope of a match in this tournament in the current state of things.
Heat dominance over recoil. As you might expect, Joel Embiid’s absence has affected Philly in many ways, including the fight to bounce back. Miami swallowed ten more (47-37) and hit the Sixers with 15 attacking rebounds. PJ Tucker and Bam Adebayo had free rein to dictate their drawing code.
James Harden game. It was a perfect opportunity for Beard to find more responsibility in the attack. Except that the linebacker changed absolutely nothing in his habits, maintaining the role of “playmaker” and finishing the match with 16 points at 5/13 on the shot. For comparison, Therese Maxi and Tobias Harris took 15 and 18 shots, respectively. It’s going to be about waking up James!
✅ Pam Adebayo. The Heat pivot had a free lead to win and provide a full game, 24 points (8/10 shot, 8/8 free throw), 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
✅ Tyler Hero. Top scorer (25 points) and best passer (7 assists), the Heat’s sixth man perfectly compensates for Kyle Lowry’s absence. And his external address (4/6) has done a lot of good for Miami.
⛔ Therese Maxi. The Sixers struggled hard block to play his usual role. More in the spotlight due to Joel Embiid’s package, he has been contained fairly well, finding himself having a hard time shooting (6/15) and finding teammates (2 passes).
⛔ George Niang. 22 minutes of play, seven attempts to shoot, every 3 throws: 0/7.
Game two is Wednesday night, still in Miami (1:30).