Tuesday , Apr , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat flex defensive muscle in game-two win over 76ers

James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers — who managed their second-lowest playoff scoring total in the last 56 years — on Monday night.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All season, we’ve focused on what they aren’t. Perhaps we should focus on what they are: a defensive juggernaut –especially, on the perimeter.

On Monday night, the Miami Heat easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in game two of their first round series. They did this by playing airtight, stingy defense.

Consider the numbers:

•    The 76ers made one half-court basket in the opening quarter, and shot just 26% from the floor in the first half.

•    Only one starter reached double-figures, Jrue Holiday had 12 points.

•    Doug Collins’ squad ended up with a paltry 74 points.

The Heat’s ability to get-stops shouldn’t surprise. Even when they were struggling with a 9-8 mark early on, the Heat had the makings of a fabulous defensive squad.

There are two keys to their success. First, the Heat is athletic on the perimeter. See LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Both can lock-up their checks, while playing the passing lanes.Second, Coach Erik Spoelstra rewards his players with offensive freedom -if they follow his scheme in their own end.

And this formula will be the key to the Heat advancing deep into the playoffs.

–Oly Sandor.

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