The Eastern Conference playoff matchup between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers shifts to Miami for a pivotal game 3 matchup. The Miami Heat stole home court advantage with a 113-103 win in game 2. The opening round series now stands at 1-1 with the next two games to be played in Miami.
The young 76ers got off to a great start in the series, and were looking to take a 2-0 series lead. Miami’s veterans, most notably, Dwayne Wade came back strong in game 2 to snap the 76ers long win streak. The status of 76ers forward, Joel Embiid, will likely be a major factor in determining the winner of this series. Philadelphia 76ers are -2 over Miami in game 3.
Dwayne Wade’s Play Gives Heat Hope
The Miami Heat were able to tie up this series in game 2, thanks in large part to Heat legend, Dwayne Wade. Wade was brought over in a midseason trade for a moment just like this, and he delivered. Wade scored 28 points on 11-16 shooting to lead the Heat over the 76ers. Miami can’t rely on Wade’s heroics in game 3, and they must get much better play from some of their regulars.
Center, Hassan Whiteside, has still been a relative no-show in this series. The 76ers look to still be without Embiid for game 3, and Whiteside has to dominate the paint inside. Look for Miami to continue to be extremely physical with the 76ers in game 3 as well. Miami employed a full court press for portions of the game as well as trapped Sixers guard, Ben Simmons, to throw off his rhythm.
Philadelphia Must Make Adjustments
Philadelphia didn’t handle the physical play from the Miami Heat very well in game 2, and they were easily frustrated. It won’t get any easier for the 76ers on the road. This will be the first road playoff game for most of the young players on the Sixers and it will be interesting to see how they handle it. Simmons still had a great game 2, but he wasn’t able to get to the rim as easily against the Heat pressure.
The 76ers are going to have to make more 3 point shots if they want to win game 3. The Sixers shot just 7-36 from deep in their game 2 loss. Without Embiid, the 76ers must be able to score from the outside to create driving lanes for Simmons.
Philadelphia Bounces Back
Dwayne Wade’s vintage performance was enough to help the Heat steal game 2, but the Heat can’t rely on him to play like that every game. Whiteside must get going if the Heat are going to keep the pressure on the 76ers. Miami’s physical play also won’t surprise the Sixers in game 3 as it did in game 2.
Philadelphia might have a young roster, but they also have very talented players. Ben Simmons looks like a future NBA Star and has performed well in his first two career playoff games. The 76ers have too many great shooters to have another bad performance from the 3 point line in game 3. Look for the Sixers to win game 3 on the road and take back home court advantage. Bet the Philadelphia 76ers -2 over the Miami Heat in game 3.
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