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Sixers vs. Heat Postgame Quotes: “We just waited a little too long to start attacking the ball.”

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NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Brown

On the three-point look that Al Horford had at the end…

Ben Simmons was trying to do the right thing and probe, when at the point it was a two-point game. We didn’t have timeouts and it was on the fly. It was an open look and I’m not unhappy with that. I give Miami credit. They crowded the paint. Ben is a missile playing downhill. They showed a crowd, he kicked it out. A two would have been good and three would have won it, so I don’t mind the look.

On why he thinks the team struggles against the zone…

I think that we ended up overthinking it too much. I think that we have been quite good against the zone this year, with the fifth-best offense against the zone, so they tell me. I feel like it put us on our heels, and I don’t think that we responded the way that I thought we would, and I think it crept into our defense. It watered us down on both sides of the ball and finally, we got some life going in the fourth period. It was as much a mentality, mood swing, as it was anything. I think that structurally, we got the ball inside and we were 12-for-39 from the three. It watered down our mood.

With the zone, you are always trying to go inside-out, you’re always trying to find a hole, and there weren’t many gaps.

Our league isn’t much of a zone league and the 49 possessions that we have played zone this year, they say that we are the fifth-best offense, but it didn’t feel like it tonight. I think that it crept into our spirit and our mood and ‘yes’ is the short answer to the fact that I think it slowed us down. We weren’t proactive.

On what he means when he says that his defense was watered down…

When you go down and you have to deal with the zone, I felt, and maybe the players will be able to respond to this better, but I felt that the lack of aggression when we were stuck in mud and on our heels, crept into our defense. I didn’t think that we had a sting to our defense.

I give them [Miami] credit. They sat in the zone and it’s unusual in the NBA. They beat a good team on their home court.

On the way Ben played defense tonight, especially late…

I think that Ben is first in our league as a defensive player. I’m probably biased because I am his coach, but he has to be considered amongst the elite and maybe one of the better Defensive Player of The Year candidates, in my opinion. When he puts his mind to it and goes after boards, that’s when it really stands out to me. I thought that defensively he was swarming with pride and we needed it. We just didn’t get that juice that we needed for the large majority of the game from others.

Joel Embiid

On what should have been done to beat the zone …

Move the ball, make shots. I feel like in the fourth quarter, I was a little bit aggressive and my teammates found me. In the first half it wasn’t the case, so we have to do a better job at being locked in from the beginning.

On how Miami Heat won …

They moved the ball, they made the right plays, they played unselfishly and that’s how you win.

On his performance in the first half…

In the first half, I don’t even remember myself being in any action or getting the ball. It was in the scouting report. We knew they were going to do it, we were prepared for it, but I guess we didn’t act on it. We didn’t do what we talked about.

Tobias Harris

On being frustrated…

It’s definitely frustrating, but at the end of the day, it’s kind of on us because we essentially missed those shots. I don’t think it was until the fourth quarter where we actually started finding ways to break the zone.

On coming up in the fourth quarter...

I think we were too late. It took us too late to gather our energy and get back and going.

Josh Richardson

On the fourth quarter…

Once we started figuring it out in the fourth quarter, things shifted, and they had to get out of it, but we just waited a little too long to start attacking the ball.

On what went wrong with the defense…

We blew some coverages, it got loose in the shot clock a couple of times. I think we just have to do better going forward.

On being frustrated…

It’s not easy as you think to beat a zone, to beat that one. It’s easy to start jacking up shots or get frustrated with your teammates, but you just have to stay together and attack it.

Erik Spoelstra

On the resiliency of the team…

Everybody was really disappointed, frustrated, if not angry yesterday with our performance in Memphis, but all you can do is just get to work. We had a long film session of going through the painful autopsy of our lack of winning plays in the Memphis game and I thought we made a lot more of them tonight, but that doesn’t even guarantee anything. This was still a one-possession game going down to the end, but those things tend to at least get the karma of the game going in your direction. It takes a little bit of pressure off your offense, and you have to finish it off, which we did.

On the young guys stepping up tonight…

Obviously, our young guys were very good tonight. They took a beating yesterday in the film session and took it on the chin with an approach to get better and they produced for this basketball team…They got recognized for that by the veterans, it was a really cool thing. Kendrick [Nunn] obviously made some big-time shots, Duncan [Robinson] is becoming a really complete basketball player, and Tyler [Herro] had his moments too. You saw him flying around, whether in man or zone, he was around the ball.

On Derrick Jones Jr. stepping up at the end and the 76ers defense…

You’re going to have to find different ways to score against this team. Their unique and unusual length and they’re well-coached, so you really have to be detailed, you have to be patient, you have to work the offense and a lot of times you’re going to have to execute with poise in the last segment of the shot clock. It’s really tough. They can wrap you up and make those possessions ugly and then we got caught and were stuck. But the guys trust [Derrick], he’s really been working on that and he stepped up with confidence. Make or miss, that was the right shot.

On how Bam Adebayo’s game is improving…

You can see how the growth of his game and his being assertive and offensive-minded helps our offense. That’s not just about shooting 16-foot jump shots, but it’s about being aggressive. The last time we played them, they totally flattened us out offensively and his tough shots and baskets in the paint are much different than where he was even five weeks ago and that will continue to be better.

Bam Adebayo

On how getting the win felt…

It feels good. Just to get this win with the way we game-planned and saw the film from last game, to how we played them and how they defended us. Just to come out today and execute that and get a win was huge.

On the team’s experience [first time around vs. Philadelphia] impacting the team’s performance tonight…

Definitely experience a little bit, but that was our first and our young guys’ first time playing Philly. So they had kind of a drawback when they defended pick-and-roll. We went over and we had solutions for it and we did that tonight.

On the team’s ability to come back…

I had to get my spots and make shots. Tonight, the start was slow, but defensively we got some stops and converted them to offense.

Derrick Jones Jr.

On playing zone defense…

I’ve been playing zone since I was eight years old, so I mean I know how to play zone defense. And defense period, I know how to play well. I just use my length, my athleticism and my speed and deflect the ball, make tough passes so my teammates can get deflections and just do whatever I could do to be disruptive on the defensive end.

On the team’s resilience…

I mean, we just said enough is enough and we just put our foot down and dug into the ground and stood our ground. We weren’t going to let them do whatever they wanted though. We had a big lead, but they came back and basketball is a game of runs. We took their punch and threw ours right back.

Jimmy Butler

On the team’s preparation and its effect on today...

A lot of it. I thought we came out locked and loaded. Man, we were locked in and it feels good to get this one on the road. But we did what we said we were going to do yesterday in the meeting, we talked about it this morning. I think we came out and executed our game extremely well.

On the younger guys handling tough situations…

They can handle it and know that it’s never personal. We only want to get better because we need these guys now and in the long term. They are key to what we are trying to do. And I think they played their asses off tonight. I’m so happy for them, so proud of them, and they’re continually learning, so if we go day-by-day, they are only going to get better.

On the comeback in the second quarter…

We threw a zone in there, it worked well for us, but let’s not pretend like they didn’t miss some shots that they can make, that they made at the end of the game. But we’ll take a couple misses and we got some rebounds, we got onto the open floor, parted the gate. I like it though. We did what we said we would do all in all.