A note before tonight’s finals game: I found it funny that the Sixers were taken out in the same fashion by the Heat as the Bulls and Celtics – 5 games.
However, let’s not be deceived into thinking that all of those series were equal. As mentioned in John Hollinger’s PER Diem today (free if a fan of NBA on ESPN on Facebook), the major problem was a bad lineup, specifically containing Zydrunas Ilgauskas:
And how about this one: According to basketballvalue.com, Miami has only one playoff lineup that has played more than 10 minutes and been outscored. It featured Ilgauskas at center, was outscored by a whopping 40.4 points per 100 possessions … and was abandoned after the first round.
It also featured the Big 3 and Bibby. In other words, the Sixers benefited greatly from playing Miami at the worst, as they featured this lineup in every game. Looking back to the series, the reason the Sixers look as good as the other two teams is because the Heat used a pathetic lineup. Also, with that lineup Miami still outscored the Sixers by more throughout the series than the other two teams. Now that the Heat have gotten smarter, they look to win the title.
Granted, I don’t want to take credit away from the Sixers here. As I mentioned during the series, the Sixers did come out strong in 4 of the 5 games, and in doing so probably inflated those numbers.
Meanwhile, even with this knowledge, Sixers fans can at least say that they beat the Heat once, which looks good right now.
And in case you’re wondering, Heat in 5 again sounds good to me.