Pros and Cons: Sixers vs. Heat Game 2
That wasn’t great!
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
In hopes of stealing a road victory, the Sixers faced off with the Miami Heat tonight in Game 2 of their second round series. Here’s what jumped out to me:
Pro: The duality of Tyrese Maxey on display
Maxey had a fascinating game tonight, making several highlight-worthy plays on the fast break while struggling mightily in the half-court.
We all know how electric Maxey is in transition. His blazing speed, crafty finishing ability and decisive nature render him tailor-made for the open floor.
He had some very impressive finishes at the rim tonight — several layups and a strong dunk — as he often does. Those plays combined to salvage the night for his sake. But, it’s worth noting that he had a brutal go in the half-court.
Maxey lacked the quick decision-making in half-court offense that makes him such a special transition player, and in turn had a hard time generating good looks for himself or his teammates when the game slowed down. He rarely created advantages against Miami’s excellent half-court defense, and largely failed to take advantage of them when he was able to do so.
All in all, though, Maxey was by far the best Sixer on the floor tonight. Even when accounting for his noteworthy struggles in certain areas, he without question showed his brilliance once again.
Con: Shake Milton out of the regular rotation
Milton, who gave the Sixers solid minutes in round one against the Toronto Raptors, was a healthy scratch from the regular rotation tonight.
Instead of playing Milton, Doc Rivers gave Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz extended minutes.
Milton is far from a perfect player, and he is likely not more than a fringe rotation player in a round two playoff series. But he is considerably better than Korkmaz (to be fair, Korkmaz did play well tonight). And Thybulle, while valuable in theory, is petrified on offense to the extent that he doesn’t even look at the rim when he has the ball.
I understand looking for a spark of some sort and thinking outside the box -- and, for that reason, I understand going in his direction. Thybulle, however, has yet to provide a single reason to trust him whatsoever in a playoff environment. His offense is as brutal as it’s ever been, and his defense is the least effective it’s been in a long time.
Con: Sixers shooters remain ice cold
Sixers three-point shooters made just six out of 34 attempts in Game 1, a brutal rate that was the biggest reason their offense struggled as much as it did.
Tonight, Maxey was just about the only Sixer who brought it offensively. The Sixers once again could not hit shots from beyond the arc, and, as you’d expect, they were entirely unable to mount any sort of serious run to shrink Miami’s lead.
This series is heading to Philadelphia with the Heat leading 2-0. The Sixers failed in their mission to split the games in Miami, and now all of the pressure is on them.