Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction, Tips & Odds – May. 03, 2022
Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers open the Eastern Conference semifinals with big problems. The 76ers can’t count on their best player, while Heat best player has knee problems and he is questionable for game number one.
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After playing NBA Finals in 2020, the Miami Heat were uncompetitive in last year’s playoffs as they were beaten 4-0 by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference first round. Between two seasons, the Heat signed Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker, two players with championship experience and that proved to be a great move. The two of them brought extra strength and with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler in starting lineup, it is clear that the defense of this team can slow down any offense. Heat finished the regular season in first place in the Eastern Conference and were great in the first round of the playoffs as they knocked out the Atlanta Hawks in five games.
Given that they have home-court advantage through the entire playoffs, it is clear that the ambition is to go to another NBA Finals. The opponent in the conference semifinals will be much easier than originally expected. Joel Embiid will not play in the first two games in Miami and it will be a chance for the Heat to open this series with two wins and thus make a big step toward Eastern Conference Finals.
UPDATE: Jimmy Butler says the knee will be ready to hold up Monday (for Game 1).
“The time off has been great for myself and everybody who’s been nicked up.”
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 30, 2022
Philadelphia 76ers had huge ambitions this season. In February, they finally managed to get rid of Ben Simmons in a trade in which they got James Harden. The combination of Joel Embiid and James Harden was supposed to mean a fight for the title, but chances have been drastically reduced in the last few days. Embiid suffered an orbital injury in the last game of the series against the Toronto Raptors and will certainly not play the first two games in Miami. He will be evaluated for the third or fourth game that will be played in Philadelphia. Without Embiid on the floor, the 76ers are not the same team and they will need a real miracle to win at least once without their best player.
Harden will have to take on much more responsibility in offense, something that he has not done lately. Tobias Harris will also need to take even more shots and Tyrese Maxey will be expected to be at the level he was at against the Raptors. At least one win in the first two games in Miami would mean everything for the 76ers, but it will be very difficult without Embiid.
meet us in Miami. 🌴🕶️ pic.twitter.com/FQprASt62p
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 1, 2022
Four times these teams played against each other in the regular season and H2H is 2-2. Heat won all three games at home against Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference first round, while the 76ers won twice and lost once in Toronto, which shows that they know how to play on the road. Still, those wins came with Embiid in the lineup.
Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry did not play for the Heat in game number five against the Hawks. Butler has problems with knee inflammation, while Lowry has a hamstring injury. Both are questionable for the first game in this series, but Butler said that he’ll be ready for the first game.
76ers will not have Embiid in the first two games, while all other players are available.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
Without Embiid, the 76ers lose every advantage in the paint they had. Even if Harden, Harris, and Maxey play a great games, that probably won’t be enough, so it is expected that Heat will open this series with a win.
Pick: Miami Heat -6HC
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