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2011 NBA Playoffs, 76ers Vs. Heat: Philadelphia Eliminated After Game 5 Loss

I'm not sure that anyone pegged the 76ers to win this series against the Miami Heat, but I think that they probably put up a much better fight than anyone could have expected. But with their 97-91 loss in Game 5 to the Heat on Wednesday, bringing their season to a close. But when you are a young team like the 76ers, an opening round loss can be used as a learning experience. Our 76ers blog Liberty Ballers thinks this team is headed in the right direction.

There's still a ton of work to be done. Finding a capable big man or two is a necessity, and more shooters could always be had. But a foundation has been laid. I can envision a starting backcourt of Holiday-Turner contending for a title one day. I'm confident in Coach Collins leadership and promise to bring basketball relevance back to Philly. I'm more comfortable with Rod Thorn in charge of basketball operations than I ever was with Ed Stefanski. Unlike year's past I feel like there's something to build on.



According to John Smallwood of, Doug Collins sees the same amount of promise in his roster.

"If you're a franchise that is trying to put a Band-Aid on it and keep it in the playoffs every year to make it look like you are trying to compete every year, I can understand the cynicism," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "But for us to do that this year, our guys are going to grow exponentially from that."

They have a very young core to build around featuring Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner. There's a lot to be proud of for this 76er team, but this isn't the goal. To be ousted in the first round. But they showed a lot of potential, and with some shrewd moves, they could be on the right side of one of these series in the very near future.