Apr 24, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT
This series has played out exactly like the regular season for the Miami Heat.
They overwhelmed lesser teams where they had more talent, the real tests were against the other elite teams where they struggled at times.
The Heat have simply overwhelmed the Philadelphia 76ers on their way to a 3-0 series lead, but the real test is on the horizon with the Boston Celtics. First, however, is the matter of finishing off the 76ers series.
Doug Collins got as much out of this 76ers roster as he could, and they played with pride this season. They are going to try to win one at home, they are not going to just roll over for the Heat.
But the Heat have dominated this series. Completely. Chris Bosh, LeBron James then Dwyane Wade have each dominated a game. The 76ers had gone with a strategy of keeping the ball away from Wade and they still lost, in Game 3 Erik Spoelstra had Wade working off the ball to get free and the result was his big game.
What the Heat have really done is keep the 76ers out of their transition game. In the half court Philly is all Elton Brand — ho had 21 points in Game 3 after a ghost-like Game 2 — and some Jrue Holiday slashing, but the 76ers have to get some easy buckets in transition to have any chance. The Heat have just cut those off this series and controlled the tempo. Made it a half court game. And dominated.
Miami likely will dominate Game 4. The Heat are fully capable of taking a mental game off, turning the ball over and watching the 76ers run away to one win. Like we said, the 76ers will play with pride at home. The outcome of this game will not determine the outcome of the series.
But the Heat would like some days off (rumor is the Miami/Boston series would not start until next weekend) and if they put in another 48 minutes and overwhelm the Sixers there is not much Philly can do about it.
- PBT Extra: Are Pacers or Spurs in any trouble in first round? 3
- All PBT’s first round playoff previews in one place 0
- Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes suspended 20 games for violating NBA’s anti-drug policy 24
- Craig Sager has acute leukemia 28
- NBA Playoff Preview: Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs 6