Two fiery and scrappy teams collide for the second time in three days, and if Tuesday’s hard-fought battle was any indication, we’re in for another doozy. The Miami Heat play host, hoping to once again contain the Philadelphia 76ers attack and get a W.
Catch the game tomorrow at 8:30 AM, Manila time.
HOME: Miami Heat (33-29, 19-10 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- Gabe Vincent
- Tyler Herro
- Jimmy Butler
- Caleb Martin
- Bam Adebayo
The 101-99 win over the Sixers on Tuesday’s placed the Heat back on the win column, snapping a four-game losing streak. It’s just in time as they are now back in Miami for a six-game homestand.
Always the catalyst, Jimmy Butler filled the stat sheet in the victory, posting 23 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, and four steals. Look for him to have a repeat performance or at least impact.
As the Heat look to re-establish more rhythm, they ought to make sure it starts with generating more offense. They are still dead-last in scoring at 108.0 points per game, appearing to be too reliant on their main guys – Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro. While all three are netting over 21 PPG, it’s not getting backed up by anything truly consistent. The team’s collective outside shot isn’t heating as well, shooting a horrid 33.3%. If it could click a tad better, it’ll go a long way since their defense is top 4 in points allowed and defensive rating.
The Heat have momentum because of that nice win the other day, but note that they are only 2-8 in their last 10 games ATS.
AWAY: Philadelphia 76ers (39-21, 15-11 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- James Harden
- Tyrese Maxey / DeAnthony Melton
- Tobias Harris
- PJ Tucker
- Joel Embiid
The Sixers’ current path is like an opposite of the Heat’s. The aforementioned loss was their second-straight defeat following a five-consecutive victories, and they are now beginning a five-game roadtrip.
Nevertheless, this group should be focused on getting back on track. We have to see a more aggressive offense, one that’s eager to pushback on Miami’s slow-paced style. They went below the century mark for only the third time in their last 37 games and should have all the motivation to flex their high-scoring capabilities.
Of course, it will start with the team’s top three scorers: Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey. Their points will be there, but we’ll see if they can help pump others up as well, especially towards Tobias Harris. The $40 million forward was non-existent in the previous game, shooting just 1-for-4 for two points across 34 minutes of action. Ben Simmons’s ghost perhaps?
The Sixers have lost back-to-back ATS but are 7-2 in the nine prior games, also ATS.
Handicap: The Heat (+1.5) win again and cover the spread.Over/Under: Heat games are usually slow-paced. The under (215) looks good.