"If they're playing great, they're a better team, OK?" Collins said. "If they're playing on top of their game, they're a better team. They won 58. We won 41. That doesn't mean that we aren't going to play and compete and fight. But when they come out tonight and defend the way they did, and Bosh and LeBron play the way they did, and Joel Anthony gives them a lift defensively that he did, it's going to be very difficult for us to beat them.
"I mean, at halftime our starting front line had 10 points. Our top two leading scorers had eight. We can't win."
No, they can't.
After the Sixers jumped to a 14-point first-quarter lead on Saturday, the Heat took notice. The Sixers are at their best pushing the tempo, hustling for loose balls and converting turnovers into easy baskets in transition. They are at their worst when the tempo is slowed to a half-court game and they must score from the perimeter, rather than inside.
In Game 2, Miami made slowing the tempo a priority. They denied the ball to the Sixers big men and forced the Sixers to become a jump-shooting team. That is not their strength, and it showed. The Sixers missed 24 of their first 30 shots. Midway through the second quarter, Evan Turner had as many made field goals - four - as the Sixers starting five. At halftime, the Sixers starters had nine points, while the Heat starters had 41, and the team had just one fast break bucket.
Perhaps the most troubling statistic ended up being the point production of the Sixers starting frontcourt of Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes. In 78 combined minutes, those three players went 4 of 16 from the field and scored just 10 points. In two games, Iguodala has made 4 of 15 shots and scored nine points while having to defend either James or Wade.
At halftime, with the Sixers trailing, 49-31, Collins went back and counted shots. From the second quarter of Game 1 through the second quarter of Game 2, the Sixers were 32 of 105. Add the second half of Game 2 to that number and the team is 48 of 141 since starting Game 1 14 of 23.
Their shooting will have to improve in Game 3 if the Sixers hope to have any chance of getting back into the series.
"You've got to forget it," Collins said of all of the missed shots. "Pistol Pete Maravich is one of my heroes. I read something from him when I was a little kid. He said, 'If you're a 50 percent shooter and you miss 10 in a row, somewhere you're going to make 10 in a row. The stats say that.'
"So that's what you have to believe. I tell our guys all the time, if you have a good shot, take it. And you know what, if you have a hand in your face or it's contested, your percentage is going to go down."
So the Sixers return to Philadelphia in search of their shot and a victory. They know they are the underdog, that they are not expected to win, that when Wade and James and Bosh are focused and playing well and playing the dogged defense they played in Game 2, their shot of winning is slim.
But to try to get back into this thing, the Sixers need to fall back on what got them into the playoffs in the first place - finding open teammates, making the extra pass to get an even better shot, winning the loose balls to get easy baskets in transition. They did that in the first quarter against Miami and they can do it again as long as they can force a tempo that is in their best interest.
Playing in the half court, having to make shots out of set plays is not a recipe for success for this team. They do not have enough offense.
The other thing they need to do is get some production out of their bigs. Hawes has been nonexistent. Iguodala seems too tied up on defense to generate any offense.
Thaddeus Young and Turner led the Sixers with 18 and 15 points, respectively, with Jrue Holiday the only starter to score in double figures, with 12.
That is not enough.
The facts are what Collins said they are: The Heat are better. But the Sixers are not as bad as they showed on Monday.
"We've just got to continue to fight," Lou Williams said. "Obviously we're dealing with a team that has a lot of guys that can score the basketball."
And they're dealing with a team that is just better.
Contact columnist Ashley Fox at 215-854-5064 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AshleyMFox.