Is it me or are the Miami Heat in trouble?
Ben Simmons shut me up when it comes down to the scouting report.
Ben Simmons had the first playoff triple-double by a rookie in nearly 40 years, JJ Redick scored 24 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers stymied the Miami Heat on their home court 106-102, now one game of the second round.
Simmons joins the names of Magic Johnson who had five triple-doubles as a rookie in the postseason, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry Lucas and Tom Gola all had one triple-double in their first postseasons.
Simmons achieved this in his fourth postseason game with 17 points, game-high 13 rebounds and game-high ten assists. At 21 years, 275 days old, he is the youngest player with a playoff triple-double since LeBron James (21 years old, 134 days).
“I think Ben Simmons is one of those players who rarely gets tired,” 76ers coach Brett Brown stated. “He doesn’t seem to fatigue. I’m told he was the first rookie since Erving Magic Johnson to post a playoff triple-double. There is greatness in both of those players.”
After committing at least seven turnovers in each of the first three quarters, the 76ers committed just 3 in the 4th, outscoring the Heat 27-19 in the final quarter. The 76ers are the first team to win a playoff game despite committing at least 27 turnovers since the 1986 76ers.
“I’m shocked that we won this game,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “We really didn’t have a right to win the game.”
Joel Embiid in his second playoff game proved again he is the spark the 76ers needed after the series was tied one game apiece. Embiid finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Philadelphia in game four.
“I love it, I love the physicality,” Embiid said. “I feel like I’m built for this and no matter what I do on the court. If I have a bad offensive game, I am going to match that energy defensively because I feel like I’m the best defensive player in the league.”
Philadelphia dominated the backboards, 57-43 and extending possessions time and time with 17 offensive rebounds.
For the Heat, some positives can be taken away from this bad loss. Josh Richardson had a Heat playoff record seven steals. Hassan Whiteside was in the building finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Miami. Vintage Dwyane Wade led all scorers with 25 points off the Heat bench, 12 of them coming in the fourth.
Richardson has sprained AC joint in the left shoulder but plans to play in game five. Miami started 1 for six from the foul line and finished 13 for 25. Heat is down 3-1 in the series, and have erased a 3-1 deficit only once, in 1997 against the New York Knicks.
The game was “lit,” in the first half. Philadelphia’s Dario Saric was driving and had his dribble knocked away by Justise Winslow, and four players wound up on the floor as they went for the loose ball. Josh Richardson took the worst of it, getting slammed into by Embiid. Richardson stayed down for more than a minute, eventually getting helped to his feet and to the Miami locker room.
Tempers were high again in transition during the same play. Goran Dragic had a sick crossover in transition on the opposite end on Robert Covington.
Dragic was shoved to the floor by Covington. James Johnson — a black belt and MMA fighter – stepped in the face of Covington, Simmons came in for a few words not inviting him to South Beach.
The beat goes on, game five Tuesday in the City of Brotherly Love.