PANIC? WHO’S PANICKING? THERE’S NO NEED TO FUCKING PANIC!
No really, there’s not.
That was the Heat’s best shot. The Sixers aren’t going to shoot 19% from three again. Dwyane Wade only has one more of those games in him. Joel Embiid will return.
The Heat, good defensively all season, took it to the Sixers by pressing Ben Simmons, getting their hands into every inch of personal space, and hitting countless run-stopping big shots. It was smart, what they did– slowing down the Sixers and frustrating them to no end. Sure, it posed some risks, like you could see here in this video posted by Kevin earlier:
This strategy backfires if Redick is able to hitting a diving Simmons there. But the Heat were banking on the Sixers not being prepared for that sort of intensity and making hasty decisions or forcing shots, which is exactly what they did. Marry that with a solid team shooting performance by the Heat and Dwyane Wade being the OG on the court, and you have a hard-fought Heat road win.
I mean, Wade isn’t repeating this shooting performance again:
His incredible effort aside, that is just flat-out bad basketball in 2018. Long, contested two-point jumpers are not winning many series, specifically ones where a team is out-gunned at most positions on the floor. It was an honor to watch Wade hitting turn-around jumpers, but the Sixers will take this plan of attack ten times out of ten. They’ll settle down and being able to better handle the Heat pressure. They’ll hit a more respectable number of threes. And Wade won’t shoot 11-of-16 from the floor again.
And despite all of that, the Sixers had it to two with four minutes remaining before yet another impressive play from Wade.
Oh yeah, and Joel Embiid will be back.
There’s a notion that he’ll slow them down when he returns. There’s something to that, for sure, but we saw last night why he’s so important. Never mind his ability to get easy baskets during long cold spells like we saw in the second quarter, his presence alone spaces the floor and opens up more for Simmons and, therefore, shooters. The Sixers can’t, and won’t, rely on Marco Belinelli workshopping his Leaning Tower of Pisa on every shot (for real, he’s horizontal on every release). He’ll get better looks, and so will Redick and Saric, and Simmons, who won’t take them. The point is, that was the best the Heat had to offer last night– it’s probably not repeatable, and certainly not sustainable, and the Sixers will get their best player back. Nothing to worry about.
The playoff hot dog is outstanding. The chili hits you first, followed by the delightful taste of salty meat, which is cradled with the crunch of bacon, all caressed by a fresh pretzel roll (fresher than I was expecting, to be honest). The only thing they could improve it is by adding a bit more salty flavor to the cheese– I feel like that would really tie the thing together. But this is very good and highly recommended. It rivals the South Philly Dog at Citizens Bank Park, and you know how I feel about the SPB. Score: 8 out of 10.
You can get the playoff dog at sections 104, 110, 122 and 212 during Flyers and Sixers playoff games.
Here is my beautiful thumb holding The Moment speciality cocktail. This was less impressive, but still good. It wasn’t too sweet. Cranberry juice, fresh lime and blueberries conspire with a muted vodka to deliver a refreshing, if hardly potent, playoff concoction. I’d give it one fucked up thumb up.
I continue to love the Wendy’s promotion. It’s perfect.