- 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.
Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Team Stats
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|47.3||Points In The Paint||44.7|
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|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
|Joel Embiid (concussion): DAY-TO-DAY||No injuries|
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.
|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.
|Pelicans vs Trail Blazers – Game 3||Trail Blazers|
|Warriors vs Spurs – Game 3||Warriors|