Heat is coming back to the East finals hinges on their defense

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The Miami Heat won Game 6 of their series against the Philadelphia 76ers and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Jimmy Butler has performed better in the postseason than during the regular season, and he did it again. In Game 6, he scored 32 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out four assists. He has now scored 30 or more points in four straight road games.

Max Strus, one of the Miami Heat is undrafted gems, scored a double-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Bam Adebayo gained 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but his defensive influence was crucial to their victory, making life difficult for Joel Embiid.

The first half was a back-and-forth event, but Miami Heat began to have the upper hand in the third stanza.

Butler scored 14 points on 6-of-9 field-goal attempts. In addition, they held Embiid to six points and James Harden scoreless in the second half.

They let Shake Milton and Tyrese Maxey score 15 and 10 points in the final two quarters, respectively, but it was intentional. The Heat focused on stopping the two superstars while allowing the other Philadelphia players to score.

Both Embiid and Harden were never able to establish a rhythm because Miami effectively disrupted both players. They compelled Embiid to leave the paint and tormented him when he was inside. Two of his seven made field goals came from outside the three-point line, which is not his specialty.

Meanwhile, the Heat had a 62-48 advantage in the paint and a 17-9 gift in second-chance opportunities. Impressive statistics for a small club.

It was Butler’s offensive blitz and the entire rotation’s defensive effort that contributed to the series-clinching victory. The Heat will now wait to see who they will face in their second appearance in the Eastern Conference in three seasons.

Read more: Celtics are eliminated, Giannis got hurt, and the fourth quarter sucked

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May 2022
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