76ers vs Heat Preview: Embiid Leads Drive for Game 5

Miami Remains in Driver’s Seat with Home Court

Can 76ers Carry Momentum to Miami?

The Philadelphia 76ers have come a long way since being in an 0-2 series hole with Joel Embiid still on the mend. Philadelphia, at one point, was 5-1 to come back and win the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. Embiid not only returned but Philadelphia also won both of its home games to change the tune of these 76ers vs Heat previews.

The NBA series odds now have this one much closer with Philadelphia at +130 (42 percent probability) to win. The Sixers will have to carry their momentum and beat the Heat in Miami. Embiid will do everything he can as he paces Philadelphia on both ends of the floor.

The onus is on James Harden and the Sixers’ supporting cast to get things going. They were no match for Miami without Embiid. But with the MVP runner-up on the floor, Philadelphia has been 15.2 points better. Specifically, the team’s defensive rating improves by 11 points, which allowing Philadelphia to slow down Miami.

Game Information

  • Team records: Philadelphia 76ers (57-35, fourth seed in West); Miami Heat (59-32, first seed in West).
  • Date: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Television/live stream: TNT
  • Location: FTX Arena, Miami

Heat Back to Drawing Board

The Miami Heat are used to having to grind through challenges. This is the team’s identity: A hard-nosed team that plays tough on both ends. In the middle of it is Bam Adebayo. The Heat’s star big man dominated without Embiid in the lineup. But since the superstar’s return, Adebayo has been locked down.

Adebayo had a rough Game 3 going against Embiid. He was limited to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting while Embiid had a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards. In Game 4, Adebayo and the Heat adjusted but it was still in a losing cause.

AThe two-time All-NBA Defensive Team selection, Adebayo has had quite the matchup with Embiid. He and the Heat have won five of their last eight games against Philadelphia with Embiid in the lineup. Adebayo will need to return the favor and contain Embiid long enough for Miami to finish them off, though Heat betting will remain a sweaty endeavor.

Which Role Players Step Up?

Outside of the big man battle and the stars, it will be up to the rest of Philadelphia’s role players to give their team an edge in this series. Danny Green will need to make baskets when called upon. He has been as streaky as he can be, but Philadelphia is 4-1 in the playoffs when he hits double digits in scoring per the Philadelphia 76ers’ latest news.

Georges Niang has also been a difference-maker for the Sixers. The team is 4-1 when he makes at least two three-pointers. With Miami focused on Philadelphia’s main scorers, Niang will have many opportunities to hit threes. If he can make them consistently, he’ll give Miami more to think about.

On Miami’s side, someone will need to help fill the void left by an injured Kyle Lowry. All eyes are on Victor Oladipo and Max Strus. Oladipo, a two-time All-Star in his prime, has had some big games for Miami, and will need to help neutralize Tyrese Maxey and/or James Harden. Strus is a three-point bomber and Miami is 3-1 in his four best games with that one ‘L’ being a one-point loss to the Hawks.

76ers vs Heat Betting Trends

The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat have been evenly matched. In their last 10 meetings, both teams have a 5-5 record on the spread (ATS) and on the moneyline. The total has gone under in six of these games.

However, the Sixers have won just one of their last eight games in Miami. Moreover, the Heat have won eight straight home games and are 30-11 as a favorite here.

As a road underdog, the total has gone under 72.2 percent of the time for the Philadelphia 76ers (5-13-0). The Sixers have covered 10 of these 18 games (53.3 percent).

Owing to Embiid’s importance with the Sixers, the team is 13-7 in the playoffs in games when he scores over 20 points and shoots 50 percent or better from the field. Three of these losses came by four points or fewer.

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