By Art Beitchman
After getting torched by the 76ers 130-103 in game 1, the Miami Heat came back in game 2 with a bully-ball mentality and bloodied the Sixers, evening up the series with a 113-103 victory.
They ran the Sixers off the 3-point line, resulting in a putrid 7-36 from beyond the arc. The Sixers made it closer at the end, but the Heat sent the message they were no longer would give up easy looks at the basket. They played good enough to win.
Of course Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid sat out for the second time this series. Thirty-six year old Heat guard Dwyane Wade went off for 28 points. Head coach Brett Brown could not find a defender on his bench to cool off Wade in this big playoff game matchup.
Wade also had beaten the Sixers with a last- second shot in the regular season. Brown has to somehow defend the ageless Miami guard better as this series progresses.
With the series shifting to Miami for games 3 and 4, Brown has everyone in suspense about whether Embiid will finally suit up and play in tonight’s pivotal game 3.
Flying down to South Florida yesterdayafternoon, they had a practice with Embiid participating to see where his stamina is after a three-week layoff.
Embiid’s presence gives the 76ers a big-time rim protector that could, and likely will, determine which team moves on in the Eastern Conference playoffs.