NBA Playoffs: Sixers need to put ball in the basket

The Heat have the most dangerous arsenal of offensive weapons in the NBA. Everyone knew that as soon as LeBron James bolted for South Beach.

But an elite defense? The Sixers are learning about that aspect right now. Through the first two games of their first-round series, the Sixers are shooting an anemic 37.8 percent, while averaging just 81.0 points per game.

“People don’t talk about their defense,” coach Doug Collins said yesterday after a light practice. “That’s what I was worried about more coming into the series than anything else. Could we score?”

So far, the answer to Collins’ question is a resounding no. He said the solution is to run more, make the third pass consistently and to simply make more shots.

“We haven’t shot the ball well, so we really haven’t given ourselves a great opportunity to win those games down there,” said Lou Williams (hamstring), who has missed 14-of-18 shots in the series.

No one should be surprised by the Heat’s ability to shut down opponents. Largely due to the length and athleticism of Miami’s Big Three, they ranked sixth in points against and second in defensive field-goal percentage in the regular season.

“That’s why they’re a threat to win the championship,” said Collins. “If you can guard, and you have three guys that can give you 90-plus points on a night, then you’ve got a great chance.”

That great chance for the Heat leaves the Sixers with a slim one.

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