The Miami Heat are still tougher than your favorite ball club and Tuesday night’s game shows it.
The Miami Heat came into Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers more than hamstrung. They were practically crippled by their situation.
With the league’s health and safety protocols surrounding the coronavirus in full go as the virus is ravaging the league at the moment, the Miami Heat fell prey in the last few days. Coming into this game against Philly, they would be down Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, Goran Dragic, Maurice Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Nunn, and KZ Okpala.
That’s a ton for the Miami Heat. Basically, it’s 2/5ths of their starting lineup, half of their top six guys, and their top three players if we are being honest.
They were both splendid on Tuesday night. The whole team was actually.
Everyone played hard and up to the level of the Philadelphia 76ers. There are no moral victories in this culture, I know, but Tuesday night’s defeat is as good a defeat as you can possibly ever have or ask for in the situation that they were in.
The Miami Heat had no business competing with Philly on Tuesday night, but they did.
It took a career night from one of the best players in the game to keep the Miami Heat from leaving victorious. Also, the Miami Heat probably should have won the game, if we are being honest.
These aren’t sour grapes. In the closing moments of regulation and with the Heat leading, Joel Embiid got away with a clear and massive palming violation that led to an even more aggregious foul call by the refs.
Here’s the play in question, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
It was an awful sequence for most parties involved. It was awful for Miami because it robbed them of an opportunity to close the door right there, while it was an awful look for the referees as well for the blown call.
The only person happy there is Joel Embiid. Either way though, this Miami Heat team proved something to me.
They proved that they are a tough bunch, even without their top guys and that says a lot. It says that they can be better than they have been when fully healthy.
It also says that they should be, especially after everyone on the team takes this latest game into account. Lastly of note, it confirms that the Miami Heat, once again, have more heart than everyone else’s favorite basketball teams.
That’s typical though. This was a tough loss, especially because the Miami Heat played so hard with what they had but they will get the chance to do it all over again on Thursday.
Philly will be more locked in after this one but the Heat showed that they can compete on Tuesday. They showed us, they showed Philly, and most importantly, they showed themselves.