Tonight, the Miami Heat will face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. The 76ers are coming off an amazing end to the season, finishing off with 17 regular season wins. Philadelphia, led by Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, finished the year with a record of 52-30 and with the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Miami Heat may not have as much of an emphatic season as Philadelphia, but still will put up a formidable fight. The Heat, led by All Star Gorman Dragic and seasoned veteran Dwyane Wade, will have to face the 76ers without home court advantage and the odds stacked against them.
However, the Heat played the 76ers four times this season and tied the series 2-2. Neither team blew the other out and the battle in the paint will be the most important for the Heat in Game 1.
For the 76ers, starter Joel Embiid will not play in the first game due to a fracture in his orbital. Due to the fact that Miami needs at least one win on the road to beat the 76ers in a 7 game series, this would be the game to do it.
Coach Erik Spoelstra has made it clear that in the first game of the playoffs, he will need his centers Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo to play strong with the absence of Embiid.
The 76ers may have the talent necessary to beat the Heat, but the 76ers do not have the veteran leadership. The 76ers have not made the playoffs in 6 years and the Heat have veteran leadership from Dwyane Wade who has plenty of exposure in the playoffs.
The last time the 76ers had a season with 50 regular season wins, most of the their starters for tonight’s game were small children or not even born yet. Game 1 and 2 will be played in Philadelphia and game 3 and 4 will be played in Miami. The odds for tonight’s game are 6.5 in Philadelphia’s favor.
94- 89 Miami Wins