In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Miami Heat travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers. Miami leads the series 2-0 following a pair of home victories, the most recent of which was a convincing 119-103 victory in Game 2.
Bam Adebayo had a fantastic game, scoring 23 points on 7/11 shooting from the field, and the Heat will try to make things difficult for the 76ers and expand their lead to three.
The Sixers are in serious need of a win now that the series has shifted to Philly, or they risk slipping into an insurmountable hole. Miami has never lost a game after building a 2-0 lead in the last 18 meetings.
The game will be played in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center, and the game will begin at 7 p.m. EST. Sportsbooks have the Miami Heat as -3 road favorites in this one, with the point total at 210.
Philadelphia 76ers Face Uphill Battle
The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping for All-Star center Joel Embiid’s comeback as they prepare to return home after losing 0-2 to the Miami Heat in the conference semifinals on Friday.
Due to a facial injury sustained in the first-round game against Toronto, Embiid has yet to participate in this series, and his absence has been a major issue for Philadelphia on both sides of the court.
The 76ers appear to be lost without Embiid, especially on defense. Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, is grabbing at straws at center, employing zone defenses and man-to-man sets in an attempt to counter a Miami offense that is getting whatever it wants.
Embiid or not, Philadelphia will still have a former NBA MVP in James Harden in Game 3, who needs to break out of his funk.
In the series, Harden is shooting just 39.3 percent. If there’s one game where Harden will put in his best effort against the Heat, it’ll be this Saturday’s game, with the Sixers’ season on the line.
Meanwhile, Tyrese Maxey is a bright spot for the Sixers. After scoring 34 points in Game 2, he now leads his team in the series with 18.5 points on a 48.6% field goal percentage.
Miami Heat Primed to Win Series against 76ers
Miami enters Game 3 with house money after cruising to relatively straightforward victories in Games 1 and 2. The Heat will be able to play their aggressive and loose brand of basketball as they try for the knockout blow with all the pressure on the 76ers on Friday night.
Following a terrible shooting performance in Game 1, the Heat answered in Game 2 by hitting shots from all over the court, averaging more than 51 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc.
In both of the first two games, the Heat have dominated the glass, out rebounding Philadelphia by 10. If they can control the glass again in this one, there’s little reason to suspect we will see a different outcome.
With a 2-0 lead, the Heat will try to dig a bigger hole for Philadelphia on Friday. Bam Adebayo, the Heat’s big man, continues to crush Philadelphia with the biggest shovel of them.
Without Joel Embiid for the Sixers in the first two games of this series, Adebayo has averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while hitting 71.4 percent of his field-goal attempts. Miami is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games after allowing 100 points or more in the previous game.
76ers/Heat Betting Prediction
This game could see Joel Embiid return; that being said, keep an eye on that leading up to tipoff. However, he is still listed as out for Friday night, as the Sixers continue to be utterly outmatched by the Heat.
The Sixers’ bench isn’t providing much support, and their offensive potency is limited. Outside of being a facilitator, James Harden hasn’t shown much, and it’s difficult to believe in Philly when so much is expected of Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris.
Miami’s defense has been suffocating teams all year, and if Embiid doesn’t return, the 76ers have no chance. Be that as it may, I still think this Heat team is too talented as they recorded 24 wins on the road during the regular season.
Betting Pick: Miami Heat
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