Bickerstaff joined ESPN’s “Get Up” to discuss how the team can get star guard James Harden going after his rough performance in Monday’s loss.
“They need to get in transition more and set more screens in the backcourt,” Bickerstaff said of the 76ers. “And I’m going to say something that goes against everything I believe in. They need to play smaller. Spread the floor out more, find all of their shooters, put all of their shooters on the floor. Their athletes, let them get up and down and create space for them.”
Even though Bickerstaff doesn’t believe in going small, he clearly sees it as a way for the Sixers to have an advantage in this series.
Harden struggled a bit in Game 1, as he was only able to register four free-throw attempts and disappeared in the second half after the Sixers led Miami at halftime.
The 10-time All-Star was held to just 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field (2-for-7 from beyond the arc). Harden also added nine rebounds and five assists for the Sixers.
Bickerstaff deployed a ton of big lineups with the Cavs this season, as he featured Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Lauri Markkanen all on the floor together.
However, with the Sixers playing without Joel Embiid, they may have a better chance of taking on Miami if they can put more speed and shooting on the floor in this series.
The 2021-22 season has been a rough one for Harden, as he shot just 41.0 percent from the field in the regular season, which is the second-worst mark of his career.
The Sixers and Heat square off in Game 2 of the series on Wednesday, May 4 from FTX Arena in Miami. It will be interesting to see if Sixers head coach Doc Rivers has any of the same thoughts as Bickerstaff and changes his lineup in Game 2.