76ers Prove Inconsistent Again in Loss to Miami: A Fan’s Reaction

The Philadelphia 76ers had their chances to beat the Miami Heat. However, a disastrous third quarter ended up costing them the game. In the end, Miami got away with a 99-93 win. The 76ers were ahead at halftime but quickly fell behind by double digits in the third quarter. They were able to rally in the fourth but they never quite caught Miami. In many ways, this game sums up how the 76ers have looked in the past two months. The team is simply too inconsistent right now.

There was a lot to like and dislike about the 76ers in this game. Evan Turner was brilliant against the Heat. He had 26 points, including 15 in the first half. But for whatever reason, Doug Collins decided to pull him at various times even though he was shooting the ball well. The ongoing saga between Turner and Collins has been the biggest storyline for the 76ers lately. It almost felt like Collins didn't want Turner to score too many points. I know that isn't the case but there is something strange going on with these two. For whatever reason, the coach is lacking faith in his guard. That has been obvious for a while now and it was on display in this game.

Meanwhile, the team looked like they did early in the year for about 75 percent of the game. They were able to pass the ball well, take smart shots, and play solid defense. In the first half of the game, Philadelphia reminded us of why they were able to build a large lead in the Atlantic Division. Unfortunately, they reminded us of how they blew that lead in the third quarter. The defense fell apart and the offense was sloppy. Against a team like Miami, a bad 12 minute stretch will end any chances you have of winning. As far as the team has come under Collins, they still haven't learned to play consistent basketball.

The 76ers will have a chance to bounce back against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, April 4. Toronto isn't anywhere near as good as Miami so the 76ers should win this game. But at this point, the team needs to find an identity. The way they look right now is not the way a contending team should look. If the 76ers can't string together an impressive stretch of games, there could be some changes in the offseason.

* - Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong 76ers fan.

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012