The Sixers’ performance in Game 5 was just about as disappointing as it could have been. After storming back to tie the series at two wins apiece, Philly had a lifeless performance in the matchup in Miami. They were blown out of the building by a score of 120-85 and never were able to cut the deficit to make the game close.
With their backs now against the wall trailing 3-2 in the series, the Sixers just find a way to recover. The team will be back in front of their home crowd where they picked up the first two wins in the series. This is an elimination matchup so the Sixers will need to bring improved energy and effort in Game 6.
- Joel Embiid- Questionable (face)
- Isaiah Joe- Questionable (ankle)
- Matisse Thybulle- Questionable (foot)
Joel Embiid is far from healthy but it would be a massive surprise if he does not suit up tonight. The Sixers superstar took another shot to the face in the previous game and he was clearly in massive pain. The injuries he currently has are not going to improve until they are treated in the offseason, so Embiid must continue learning how to adjust to the pain and restrictions the injuries bring on. It is difficult to ask more from him as he is clearly leaving it all on the court, however, his energy level was lower than usual in Game 5 and this was infectious to the rest of the team.
Isaiah Joe missed the previous matchup with an ankle injury and Matisse Thybulle is a new name on the injury report. Thybulle has failed to establish effective minutes thus far in the playoffs as his offensive deficiencies have proved too large to rely on him for an extended time. Neither of these players is expected to have a large role if they are able to suit up.
- Kyle Lowry- OUT (hamstring)
- Tyler Herro- Questionable
- PJ Tucker- Questionable
- Caleb Martin- Questionable
- Max Strus- Questionable
- Gabe Vincent- Questionable
The Miami Heat continue to stubbornly list multiple players on the injury report that are just about certain to play. The collection of questionable players has seen their names on the injury report for each game thus far in this series. Expect all of these guys to play their normal minutes and roles in Game 6 just as has been the case through the first five games.
The only Heat player who will be unable to play is Kyle Lowry. The veteran guard has battled a hamstring injury for the entirety of the series. After missing the opening two games of the season, Lowry made his return in Games 3 and 4 and attempted to play through the injury. It was clear that he did not have his usual pop and the former Villanova standout struggled greatly in the matchups. Lowry still traveled with the team and will be on the bench for Miami in the matchup.
Sixers: -2.5 spread and -136 moneyline (Over/Under is 207)
Heat: +2.5 spread and +118 moneyline
It is no surprise to see the Sixers as the favorite in this matchup. The return to home court and the need for a victory should be enough to drive the team to success. Philly has won both matchups at home in the series and will look to rely on the home crowd once again. If there is any type of effort similar to Game 5 the boos will be loud and clear at the Wells Fargo Center.
This should be expected to be a victory for the Sixers. The team was punched in the mouth early on in Game 5 and was never able to respond. Led by Jimmy Butler, the Heat gave an excellent Game 5 performance and it felt as if they could not miss. The blowout victory left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth and this must be corrected moving forward. While it was disappointing to see the team roll over so easily in the previous matchup, the Sixers typically respond when given time to make adjustments. Look for the Sixers to get back to their competitive brand of basketball and force a Game 7 in Miami.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee