Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. A prayer the Sixers should no doubt recite before taking the floor Sunday afternoon.
Control...It's a tricky thing. Some things can be controlled and others can't. For instance, the Sixers have no control over the referees, or David Stern, or "The Decision". They can't control the off-balance shots the Heat are so inclined to make, or the lack of calls against any of the "Big Three". (A combined three fouls between them last night...Are you kidding me?!) With so many things in this series out of their control, they must master the things they can. Like for instance, rebounding.
The Sixers gave up 20 offensive rebounds in Thursday night's loss to the Miami Heat. Not surprising considering they played most of the night with an undersized lineup. General manager Ed Stefanski, who was interviewed on 610 WIP Thursday afternoon, mentioned one of his keys for the future of the organization would be investing in a solid big man. The Sixers could have used one last night, as the Heat were given second chance after second chance, spoiling good defensive possessions.
Besides a few mental lapses here and there, the Sixers played solid basketball throughout the game, but in the end it was too much LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
How hard can it be to stop three players? Well, considering they are capable of scoring 75 points amongst them, pretty hard.
Which brings me to my next point. I mentioned before about how you can't control the referees...but you can control the amount of old fashioned three point plays given up. Here is how you stop them. Foul them hard! Send a message that they will need to earn every point they get. Why are they able to come into the lane time and time again and get three point plays on ticky-tack fouls? Lay them out!! Now I am not saying hurt them. I don't believe in that, never have. During my high school days, coaches used to send players into the game in order to injure me and I despised it.
What I am saying is take a hard foul. Make these players know that the game will be a battle. Kind of like what James Jones attempted to do during the 4th quarter of Game 3...Oh wait, I just received word that was not a flagrant foul. Interesting.
So James Jones can hammer any player driving to the basket, and to the referees that is equivalent to LeBron throwing himself into Jrue Holiday's upright hands. I can see that; they are similar fouls. One was the void of contact, while the other could have drawn ire from a WWE official.
I am becoming more and more suspicious about these playoffs. Did a memo go out to the NBA in reference to Lebron James or Dwyane Wade? They must be wearing the invisible red pinnies usually reserved for quarterbacks. Every time someone breathes on those two it is a foul. If this keeps up I am worried that a flagrant foul may be called on the talcum powder prior to game four.