Philadelphia 76ers: Talent trumps experience in Sixers blowout victory

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In their first playoff game since 2012, the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers put the Miami Heat and the entire NBA on notice in a 130-103 blow out win.

This was always going to be a hard game for the Philadelphia 76ers to win.

Without an established star like Dwyane Wade, it was always going to be tough for the new money Sixers to remain competitive in the playoffs, let alone win any games by a commanding margin.

Oh wait, the Sixers actually DID blow out the Miami Heat? How could that be?

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Before the game even tipped off many national pundits went out of their way to point out the Sixers’ inexperience in an attempt to put the team’s success into context, giving examples of other young teams like the 1992-1993 Magic squad as to why just getting to the big show should itself a satisfying accomplishment for a first year playoff team.

But those teams aren’t our team.

No, even with their best player relegated to bell ringing duties, Brett Brown‘s squad once again blew out a lesser opponent with very minimal resistance and have now pushed their seemingly endless win streak to an impressive 15.

Why stop now?

Fueled by monster performances by Dario Saric, Ben Simmons, and J.J. Redick, the team had five players put up at least 17 points and forced the Heat out of their comfort zone by playing fast.

Like really fast.

Without Embiid holding down the paint, the Sixers have essentially become the NBA’s answer to Villanova, shooting three-pointers with reckless abandon and flying up and down the court with seemingly no regard for their own well being. Facing off against another quality center in Hassan Whiteside, Coach Brown essentially threw down the gauntlet and challenged the Heat to a glorified track meet, with the more in shape coming out on top.

And tonight, that team was the 76ers.

In what has become almost commonplace at this point, the Wells Fargo Center came alive once more with the feverish energy of a sold-out crowd, cheering for every slam dunk, booing free throw shooters, and chanting everyone’s favorite saying “Ref you suck!”

While some will call this game a fluke, and still question the team’s ability to maintain their breakneck pace over a full series, if game one is of any indication, I think the 76ers are going to be just fine. Sure, for the vast majority of the Sixers’ roster the playoffs are something new, but between Brett Brown, J.J. Redick, and arguably the two best players from the game Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova this team has the perfect combination of veteran experience and youthful vigour, and that combination is going to be hard to overcome, even for the best teams.

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With the Philadelphia 76ers now holding a 1-0 lead, the team will once again take the court at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat on Monday, April 16th in an attempt to take the 2-0 lead. Let’s hope game two brings more of the same.