You’ve witnessed the Miami scenes.
The pristine beaches, exciting nightlife, eclectic cuisine. The list goes on.
It all adds up to one of the best destination experiences in the United States.
And the Sixers don’t want anything to do with it.
This is a business trip.
Scratch that. This is battle.
“It just becomes, I think, a little bit more insular, a little bit more of a bunker mentality,” Brett Brown said at Wednesday’s practice. “It’s a little bit more of trying to minimize distractions. You’re not in your own bedroom. You’re not in your own sort of comfort zone, your own routine, rhythm to your day.
“It’s a huge part of young players figuring out life on the road and it certainly gets exacerbated in the playoffs. But I like it. I like the mentality and the spirit of being together. I think we have a very close team and I think it forces you to become even closer when you’re just not at home.”
Games 3 and 4 inside AmericanAirlines Arena will feel like anywhere but home for the Sixers. In the first road playoff game for this young team, the players will have to deal with crowd noise and an extremely physical opponent.
The volume will subside as the Sixers are able to string together baskets, and they know the only way to do that is take the smart approach to the Heat’s increased physicality.
“It doesn’t have to be macho vs. macho,” Brown said. “That’s not how we want to play. We want to have an intellectual response to physicality. It can mean speed, it can mean space, it can mean the technique of just creating a lead and getting open. A simple jab step and putting your arm in somebody’s chest and throwing out a lead hand as an example of stuff you’d learn in eighth grade. But it all equals fundamentals, poise, technique, that stuff to combat physicality.
“It’s not they punch you, you punch them, they punch … it’s not that at all."
“You don’t want to do anything that can put yourself in a predicament, allow someone to get hurt,” Robert Covington said. “Nobody wants to get fined, nobody wants to be on the back end of something like that because it can be retaliation that can come from it. You have to play smart and just have to sit up here and do it different ways. You cannot get caught up in the moment and do something crazy.”
Whatever physical tactics the Heat attempt, the Sixers promise they’ll be ready this time around.
“I’ve got a few hits for people coming their way,” Ben Simmons said.
“I’m ready to play.”