The Philadelphia 76ers are in a rather interesting yet undesirable situation heading into Game 3 against the Miami Heat. They have the home-court advantage, but they’re down 0-2 in the series.
Now, there’s a possibility that Joel Embiid could make his return after missing the beginning of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. However, even if he does play, how productive can a man with a torn ligament in his thumb and an orbital fracture be?
All factors considered, the Sixers need a solid game plan to close the two-game gap between them and the Heat. According to Tyrese Maxey, the plan is to “hit first” and “hit for longer.”
Sixers team reporter Lauren Rosen tweeted the news Friday afternoon.
.@TyreseMaxey on the @sixers' mentality headed into Game 3 tonight:
"Guys are ready to go out there and compete at 7 o’clock. That’s really it. Hit first, hit for longer.
We're going to go out there, compete extremely hard, and try to get a W."
— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) May 6, 2022
Coming from Maxey, this isn’t much of a surprise. The 21-year-old has been a ball of energy for the Sixers this season. In fact, his aggressiveness in Game 2 was one of the only things that gave Philadelphia a chance to win. He put up 34 points in the loss, using his speed and stamina to beat opponents and drive the basket for seemingly easy layups.
Hopefully, the rest of Maxey’s teammates will follow suit and partake in the Sixers’ “hit first” game plan. It’s safe to say that they lost the first two games largely because Miami worked harder than they did. The Heat fought hard on every play and worked a lot harder for rebounds.
Working hard is the key to success for the Philadelphia team. With drive and aggressiveness, this team has the potential to beat the Heat, with or without Embiid.