Miami Heat Get Embiid-less Games But Must Handle Real Business Now

Dewayne Dedmon #21 of the Miami Heat blocks a shot by Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Dewayne Dedmon #21 of the Miami Heat blocks a shot by Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat came into Wednesday night’s Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers off a good win on Monday night. Though they allowed the Philly team to claw back into Game 1 before the half, after going up big to open the contest, they would eventually finish the game with a comfortable margin and their end of the rotation guys in the game.

Continuing to start DeAndre Jordan at center in the playoff series, Doc Rivers would surely make adjustments for Game 2. And he did, as the 76ers came out with a more team-centric approach on offense to begin the game.

They managed to keep themselves in it early by playing a well-rounded ball movement style of ball early, unlike the James Harden-centered approach to begin Game 1. Perhaps the strategy was to bide their time there, hopeful to allow James Harden to carry them home in the end.

That wouldn’t work though, as the Miami Heat would go on another early game run that put them up double digits before the half was over.

The Miami Heat got another win over the Joel Embiid-less 76ers on Wednesday. Now, they must try to go to Philadelphia and do the exact same thing Friday.

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Harden would have to try to activate earlier than, perhaps, hoped to keep them in it.

Even still, they would take a near double-digit deficit into the half, with the Miami Heat leading the game, 60-52. It was all Miami Heat from that point on, with the defense not allowing the 76ers to fully gain footing the rest of the way.

They would threaten the Miami Heat’s lead several times, propelled by a few shots made or a Tyrese Maxey burst here or there, but they couldn’t ever fully close the gap in the second half of Game 2, losing it by a tally of 119-103.

With 16 points midway through the game, James Harden would only finish with 20. Talk about a cooling off.

Listen, this isn’t to hype these two wins to the moon. They were supposed to win these games, which they should have whether or not Embiid was on the floor.

They definitely had no excuses with him not being out there. This is where the real work begins though.

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They now have to go to Philly and proceed to do the same thing, Joel Embiid on the floor or not. That’s the rest of the test and that begins on Friday.