NBA Game Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

May 4, 2022

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Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat 

Time:  7:00 p.m. ET 

Odds:  76ers +8, Heat -8 

Total: 207.5 

The Philadelphia 76ers might be in trouble. If Game 1 of their series with the Miami Heat was any indication, the Sixers could be in for some long nights but a short series. Without Joel Embiid in Game 1, Philadelphia lost by 14 points to Miami, 106-92. Miami, which played without Kyle Lowry, did what it does best – play defense. The Heat held the 76ers to just six three-pointers as they scrambled to figure out how to play without Embiid.

Miami will be looking to do the same thing tonight. The Heat held the Sixers to just 17.6 percent shooting from behind the arc. Tyrese Maxey, who averaged 21.3 points a game in the series against Toronto, had 19 points and James Harden had just 16 as the pair combined for a total of three made three-pointers. That will have to change if Philadelphia is going to have a shot at evening up this series. 

Embiid is out again tonight and Lowry will sit once again for the Heat. Miami was forced to go with the backcourt of Max Strus and Gabe Vincent, but they managed. Newly crowned Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro came off the bench to score 25 points and lead the Heat. Bam Adebayo added 24 points and 12 rebounds and Jimmy had 15 points nine boards. Miami has a deep lineup that is very capable. Plus, defending Philadelphia without the NBA’s leading scorer (Embiid) is much easier without him than with him. 

What the Sixers would like to avoid is going down 0-2 in the series. They have only won one game in their last four. That was the deciding Game 6 in the series with Toronto. The Sixers are also only 2-4 SU in the last six games against Miami. In the past nine games against the Heat, Philadelphia is 3-6 ATS and the 76ers have not been good against the number on the road. In their last nine road games, the Sixers are 2-7 ATS. 

Winning Game 1 gives Miami an 11-2 SU record and a 10-3 ATS mark in its last 13 games. Miami has won six of seven games against Philadelphia when playing the Sixers at home. Each of the Heat’s last five home games has gone Under the total and each of Miami’s last six games overall has gone Under as well. The Under is 5-1 in the Sixers’ last six games. In the Sixers-Heat series, five of the last six games have gone Under the total. Keep in mind that in six playoff games so far this season, Miami has held its opponent to fewer than 100 points four times.

Philadelphia is just 6-9 SU this season in games in which Embiid did not play. He is averaging 26.2 points per game during the postseason. Miami is banged up with Strus, Vincent, Herro, Caleb Martin, and P.J. Tucker all questionable with nagging injuries.