* You haven’t heard from me much lately – I’ve been horribly ill, so this preview will be short.
Today’s game 4 may or may not be the last Sixers game this season. Obviously, I hope it’s not. And while the Sixers have been written off as a lost cause by most, there is still reason for optimism, that the series will go back to Miami.
In game 3, Dwyane Wade let loose, and the Sixers paid for it. It’s been the story of the series: one of the Big 3 has just completely overwhelmed the Sixers – even though the Sixers have put forth their best effort, the Heat have just too much talent to contain.
One of the difference-makers for the Heat this series has been Joel Anthony. He has anchored strong defensive efforts from the heat when they’ve made runs, most notably in the second quarter of game 1 as the roaming paint presence in the zone. He may not be able to catch a basketball – he’s worse than Sam Dalembert here, which is saying a lot – but he can disrupt a team’s offense. Anthony also single-handedly shut down Thaddeus Young in game 3, huge considering how close the game was and how big of an impact Young made in games 1 and 2.
A few things of note before the game today:
- Iguodala has to provide some scoring: the Heat were playing 4 on 5 defensively at times during game 3, just leaving Andre alone until he had the ball in his hands. Hitting a couple of open threes will do wonders for this team.
- The bench actually has to provide an advantage: Philly’s one advantage coming into the series was their bench production. During the series, Thad Young and Evan Turner have had nice games, but not good enough to provide a clear advantage in bench play. Lou Williams, Turner, and Young all need to be productive today.
- The fans: how many Sixers fans will show? Will Heat fans shine through the cheers and boos of Sixers fans?
It’s been a fun ride. Let’s hope it continues.