The Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers matchup is finally here! We have a few specific questions in mind for the match-up and some broader ones about the reigning NBA Champions’ season so far.
The “how old is joel embiid” is a question that has been posed to the Philadelphia 76ers and their fans. The 76ers have not had success without Joel Embiid, but James Harden could be the answer.
The Philadelphia 76ers have advanced to the next round of the playoffs, where they will face the Miami Heat in a matchup. The Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks in five games, restricting All-Star Trae Young to 15.4 points per game on 31.9 percent shooting from the field and 18.4 percent from three.
Miami is a tough team to play against because of their suffocating defense and presence of great All-Star-caliber players such as Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The Heat, though, cannot underestimate the 76ers, even if they are a deep club. Philly has two superstars and an all-time great coach on the roster, or do they? At this moment, Joel Embiid has been ruled out of the series, with no official comeback date set.
The 76ers, on the other hand, cannot afford to wait for Joel to return. They need to make the most of their season since they traded Ben Simmons for James Harden, a win-now star, in a blockbuster transaction that rattled the NBA world just before the deadline. So, in order for his team to have a shot at making this a lengthy series, The Beard has to show up and be at his MVP-level best. There is a potential that superstar Joel Embiid may return to the floor. Here’s how the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers stack up in a matchup with a lot of compelling stories to follow.
Lineups to Start
Kyle Lowry, Victor Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker, and Bam Adebayo are the Heat’s starting lineup.
Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Matisse Thybulle, Tobias Harris, and Paul Reed lead the 76ers’ starting lineup.
Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler, who have both seemed to be resting, are likely to return to the starting lineup for Miami. Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo has looked fantastic in his return to the playoffs, and his ability to attack the basket and defend at an elite level has practically forced him to start. PJ Tucker, who possesses one of the finest corner three-point shooters in the game, will continue to be a workhorse at power forward. Finally, without Embiid, Bam Adebayo is an All-Star center who will punish the 76ers.
Without MVP candidate Joel Embiid, Philadelphia’s roster takes on a whole new aspect. The 76ers’ big man has carried the team at times this season and has improved his game in practically every aspect. Paul Reed is anticipated to fill in for Joel since he can play small-ball basketball and not give up a lot. Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Tobias Harris will all be in charge of the offense, with The Beard in particular having to take over games. Finally, in his return to the NBA, Matisse Thybulle will be charged with guarding and chasing down loose balls.
Philly looks terrific with Embiid, but they seem hollow without him. With Miami’s studs slated to play at near-full strength, the Heat must have the advantage.
Miami Heat has the upper hand.
Tyler Herro, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, and Dewayne Dedmon are the Heat’s playoff bench rotation.
Shake Milton, Georges Niang, Furkan Korkmaz, Danny Green, Isaiah Joe, and Jaden Springer are among the 76ers’ playoff bench rotation.
The Miami Heat bench is loaded with offensive skill, with four guys capable of making long jumpers practically instantaneously. Tyler Herro is the guy that gets the majority of the attention, and he deserves it. He was named 6th Man of the Year and is an All-Star player who can confidently lead the attack. Caleb Martin, Max Strus, and Duncan Robinson are all floor-spacers who also play defense. Finally, Dewayne Dedmon is a hardworking big man who has shown his value to this Miami team.
The 76ers’ bench is far less skilled, as they attempt to field streaky shooters. Shake Milton has the ability to score, but he isn’t always reliable. Niang and Korkmaz are both capable three-point shooters, but neither is a solid defender and pales in compared to Miami’s supporting cast. Danny Green is an excellent backup (or substitute) for Thybulle since he can make threes, but he is inconsistent. Finally, with Paul Reed set to start, they must hope that Joe or Springer can contribute.
Overall, without Embiid, the 76ers are hurting and will struggle if Miami’s bench comes in and they are forced to substitute out either Maxey or Harden at points during the game.
Miami Heat has the upper hand.
Erik Spoelstra deserves a lot of credit for his long tenure as one of the finest coaches in the game. He’s not just a great man-manager and basketball thinker, but he also understands exactly what he wants from his players and makes sure they get it. Spoelstra has dealt with high-profile players like as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Jimmy Butler in the past, as well as postseason experience. Of course, he has the support of an exceptional team that won the #1 seed in the East and advanced to the Finals two years ago.
Doc Rivers has received criticism in recent years for squandering many 3-1 leads while fielding quality teams, yet he is an all-time great coach when it comes to keeping his club tight and competitive. There aren’t many more popular coaches among players than Rivers, who commands respect for his voice and basketball knowledge. Rivers, on the other hand, hasn’t had the easiest of seasons in recent years, but Spoelstra has gained a lot of respect for standing up against superstars and even reached the Finals in 2020. Rivers is a fantastic coach, but Spoelstra gets the nod due of his recent success with the Miami Dolphins.
Miami Heat has the upper hand.
The Heat are the favorites to make it to the finals.
The sideline brawl between Jimmy Butler and head coach Erik Spoelstra is a thing of the past, as Miami has rebounded and played at a high level. They took care of Atlanta admirably, absolutely shutting down Trae Young, one of the league’s most unstoppable players.
Not to mention that the Heat won the Eastern Conference and have an exceptional squad comprised of star players and hard-hitting role players who can both defend and shoot. As the team’s stars, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro lead the way, while PJ Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Max Strus, and the resurrected Victor Oladipo provide support on both ends.
The Heat have already shown that they can contain Trae Young (28.4 PPG, 9.7 APG in the regular season), so picture what they can do to a slower James Harden. They may not have to worry about Joel Embiid as well, since the big man might be sidelined for a while. Miami are the clear favorites to reach the Finals, since they have the best record in the East and lots of confidence.
James Harden is unconvincing, and the Sixers are banged up.
Joel Embiid will miss the rest of the season after sustaining an eye injury and a concussion. That’s a huge setback for the 76ers’ championship ambitions since it means their greatest player will be out for at least the first night of the season. That means the majority of the burden will fall on James Harden’s shoulders, a player who has proven unconvincing up to this point.
The Beard isn’t the same player he used to be, and at 32 years old, we may have to accept that he’s passed his prime. So far in the playoffs, the former MVP has a 19.0 PPG average, his lowest since his third season in the league. In addition, James is shooting 40.5 percent from the field while taking just 13 shots a game.
Philadelphia is in major danger against a Miami Heat team that will battle tooth and claw for every possession without Embiid on the court at full strength and James Harden being passive. In reality, the 76ers may be in jeopardy in the future because Embiid will never be fully recovered, while Harden will only slow down more. Expect Miami to do to James Harden what they did to Trae Young: put him in awkward situations and turn him into an ineffective shell of himself.
Which team will emerge victorious?
Miami is a superior team right now in practically every aspect of the game, particularly without Joel Embiid on the court. The 76ers superstar has a huge influence on the game, and when he isn’t on the court, it’s up to James Harden to shoulder the offensive load. Giving the Heat a wounded dog will only make them sniff blood, forcing Harden to take risky shots, give up chances, and battle to keep the game under control. As a consequence, the Heat have a significant edge.
Miami is expected to sweep the 76ers in five games. They defend at a high level, have more dogs on the team, and can shoot the three pointer better than Philly. If Joel Embiid recovers by Game 2 or 3, the 76ers may have a chance to extend the series to six games, but a sweep is more probable. Miami is superior in practically every aspect of the game, as they will very certainly demonstrate in a Gentleman’s sweep.
The Miami Heat are expected to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1.
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