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Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat: Game 3 Preview and Prediction

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Apr 18, 2018 · 9:28 AM PDT

Dwyane Wade
The Miami Heat leaned heavily on Dwyane Wade for a Game 2 win over the 76ers. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) CC License
  • Can Dwyane Wade lead the Heat to a home win in Game 3?
  • Philly tries to start anew after 17-game win streak snapped
  • Will Joel Embiid finally get into the series for the 76ers?

The scenery may have changed, but the stakes are still extremely high as the Miami Heat host the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first round series that’s currently one game apiece.

The Heat were on the road and on the ropes in Game 2. Down 1-0 in the series and by as many as nine points in the first quarter – in what is currently the most hostile environment of the playoffs in Philadelphia – against a team that had won 17 in a row.

Miami needed a superhero. And Dwyane Wade delivered in a flash.

His 28-point outburst (in just 26 minutes) off the bench was just the sort of stabilizing performance that a mostly inexperienced playoff team needed to get a win and even this  series.

The team as a whole also got back to what they do best: defend the hell out of you. That 130-point 76er explosion in Game 1 was traded in for 103 in Game 2 – right about what the Heat allowed all season, a fourth-best mark in the league.

Meanwhile, the 76ers showed the inexperience that many predicted they would face as a young team in their first true playoff. While Ben Simmons again led the way (he’s averaging 20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds a game so far), his co-star Joel Embiid was forced to watch from the sideline, though cleared from concussion protocol that day.

He wasn’t happy about it.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Team Stats


107.4 Offensive Rating 104.5
109.8 Points 103.4
27.1 Assists 22.7
47.2 Field-Goal Percentage 45.5
36.9 Three-Point Percentage 36.0
+4.5 Plus/Minus +0.5

*Stats do not include the playoffs


102.0 Defensive Rating 104.0
105.3 Points 102.9
+6.0 Rebounding Differential -6.0
-3.5 Turnover Differential +3.5
43.4 Field-Goal Percentage 45.0
34.2 Three-Point Percentage 36.0
47.3 Points In The Paint 44.7

*Stats do not include the playoffs

Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
April 16 – Playoff PHI 113-103 MIA
April 14 – Playoff PHI 130-103 PHI
Mar. 8 – Regular Season MIA 108-99 MIA
Feb. 27 – Regular Season MIA 102-101 MIA
Feb. 14 – Regular Season PHI 104-102 PHI
Feb. 2 – Regular Season PHI 103-97 PHI


Notable Injuries and Absences

76ers Heat
Joel Embiid (concussion): DAY-TO-DAY No injuries
Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid hopes to be in uniform for the 76ers for Game 3 of their series against the Heat. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]

 Straight Up Advice: Heat (108-101)

Perhaps no team has had a more uneven first two games than Philly. In their playoff win, they dished 34 assists and shot 47-percent from the field, and an unreal 64-percent from beyond the arc.

One game later, they’re held to 22 assists, 41-percent from the field and just 23.5-percent from three. They should find themselves somewhere in the middle of that in Game 3.

Philly has gone so small that Hassan Whiteside cannot stay on the floor and be effective. Joel Embiid’s return could change the series for him and also add another layer to this already exciting matchup.

Embiid should be a welcomed addition to the lineup. He averaged 19 points and 8.6 rebounds in three games against the Heat this year.

That might be welcome news for Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who’s literally been on a milk carton this entire series. He’s averaged just 14 minutes a game and contributed just 3.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Part of that is his lackluster effort, but part of it is that Philly has gone so small that Whiteside cannot stay on the floor and be effective. Embiid’s return could change the series for him, and also add another layer to this already exciting matchup.

This will come down to Miami’s savvy, led by Wade. It’s going to be another close affair, and experience will trump youth – at least for one game in South Beach. Let’s see how the process handles playoff adversity.

Team Trends

76ers Heat
Philadelphia is 22-19 SU on the road Miami is 26-15 SU at home
Philadelphia is 9-1 SU in its last ten games Miami is 6-4 SU in its last ten games
Philadelphia is 13-6 SU as road favorite Miami is 3-7 SU as home underdog
Philadelphia is 16-12-2 ATS after a loss Miami is 18-22-4 ATS after a win
Philadelphia is 49-33-2 ATS this season (59.8%) Miami is 41-37-6 ATS this season (51.2%)
Philadelphia is 21-18-2 ATS on the road Miami is 16-21-4 ATS at home

Additional SU Picks (April 19th)

A pair of desperate teams are hoping a change of venue will do wonders for them on Thursday.

 Match-Up SU Pick
Pelicans vs Trail Blazers – Game 3 Trail Blazers
 Warriors vs Spurs – Game 3  Warriors


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