The Philadelphia 76ers — temporarily led by James Harden — kick off the second round of the NBA playoffs tonight against the Miami Heat. After making the trip down to Miami for Games 1 and 2, the Sixers’ goal is clear, steal at least one game before Joel Embiid returns. If the team can manage that, then this series may just fall their way, and tonight might just be the game to steal.
- When: Monday, May 2nd at 7:30 PM
- Where: FTX Arena, Miami, FL
- How: TNT, 97.5 FM The Fanatic
- Joel Embiid – Out (Concussion)
The biggest news in Philadelphia has been that of Joel Embiid’s diagnosis of a fractured orbital and a concussion. Embiid was initially out indefinitely — and he still is — but now there’s optimism that he may be able to return for the 76ers as early as Game 3. Embiid did not travel with the team down to Miami as he recovers from his injuries suffered at the elbows of Pascal Siakam in Game 6 of the first round.
- Kyle Lowry – Out (Hamstring)
- Jimmy Butler — Questionable (Knee)
- Tyler Herro — Questionable (Illness)
- Max Struss — Questionable (Hamstring)
- Markieff Morris — Questionable (Illness)
- PJ Tucker — Questionable (Calf)
- Caleb Martin — Questionable (Ankle)
As affected by injuries as the 76ers seem to be, the Miami Heat have their own share of troubles. Starting point guard Kyle Lowry has already been listed as out for Game 1, and the team has a laundry list of players currently listed as questionable. While most, if not all, of the players listed as questionable are likely to play tonight, the Heat are certainly not sprinting heading into Game 1.
The Philadelphia 76ers head into Game 1 as major underdogs, and understandably so as the team will be without Joel Embiid. Many feel that all hope is lost for Philadelphia, at least until Embiid makes his potential return. The Sixers cannot expect the odds to be much closer, but they could use that underdog labeling as fuel.
Considering that Miami also has their fair share of injuries, this game could be the surprise of the series. While one may not feel confident enough to take the Sixers outright, the spread at +7 might just be a bargain.
Considering the current state of both teams, tonight seems to be tonight — if there is one — where the Sixers are able to steal a game in Miami. They’ll need James Harden and Tyrese Maxey to do so, but this game could be the moment that Philadelphia proves themselves. All they need to do is play up to the level they’ve shown they’re capable of.
Final Score: Philadelphia 76ers – 121 | Miami Heat – 116