August 14, 2022

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Power in numbers once more shall be put to the take a look at for the Miami Warmth within the NBA playoffs.

Within the opening spherical, it was all for one, with 4 totally different main scorers in 5 video games, and all defensive eyes on Trae Younger.

Erik Spoelstra’s crew in the end aced that take a look at towards the Atlanta Hawks.

This time, towards the Philadelphia 76ers, a best-of-seven Japanese Convention semifinal sequence that opens Monday at FTX Area, the problem figures to return in triplicate, based mostly on the 76ers’ potentialities with heart Joel Embiid and guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey.

For the Warmth, the counter shall be waves of our bodies, waves of defensive strain, and, seemingly, waves of followers trying to maximise the homecourt benefit.

“I imply, they’re good,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers stated of the approaching sequence. “They’re deep. They’re veterans. We’re going to play grown males, and we’re wanting ahead to the problem.”

Contemplating Harden has but to face the Warmth in a 76ers uniform, and contemplating Warmth heart Bam Adebayo participated in solely two of the season’s 4 conferences of the groups, the 2-2 sequence break up gives restricted perception into what comes subsequent.

With the 76ers arriving with respect for the upper seed.

“It’s going to be a problem for us,” ahead Tobias Harris stated.

In the end what’s going to come subsequent for the sequence winner is a spot within the Japanese Convention finals towards the winner of the Boston Celtics-Milwaukee Bucks sequence that opens Sunday in Boston.

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So how will it play out? A number of matchups shall be telling.

Heart: This would be the prime focus, contemplating the flexibility of Embiid to dominate not solely within the paint, but additionally with silky jumpers that vary past the 3-point line. Nevertheless, Embiid is also taking part in with a sprained proper thumb that may require offseason surgical procedure. Adebayo, whereas missing such an offensive repertoire, gives the flexibility to modify on to any Philadelphia participant, together with Harden and Maxey. Edge: 76ers.

Energy ahead: A wildcard within the sequence could possibly be the 76ers’ Harris, who has the instruments to place collectively a breakout offensive efficiency however not often does. On the opposite aspect is the Warmth’s P.J. Tucker, who has his personal capability to dominate on the defensive finish. Contemplating the chances of crossmatches and the utilization of zone by each groups, it stays to be seen how a lot the 2 match up. Edge: Even.

Small ahead: Jimmy Butler sometimes will get up for matchups towards his former groups, with that edginess to transcend his friendship with Embiid. This can be a matchup the place Butler may must method the offensive ranges he reached towards the Hawks. Whereas the 76ers’ Danny Inexperienced has championship pedigree, he largely was uneven towards the Raptors. Matisse Thybulle might additionally come into play right here. Edge: Warmth.

Capturing guard: Maxey has been a revelation over the second half of the season, arguably Philadelphia’s second greatest participant. Max Strus, against this, largely is a complementary part for the Warmth. Count on a crossmatch right here as nicely. It’s extremely unlikely Strus winds up defending Maxey frequently, if in any respect. Edge: 76ers.

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Level guard: There was some extent when Harden was a given when it got here to successful his matchup. This isn’t that point. Like Butler, determine on Lowry getting as much as play towards his hometown 76ers, simply as he did in the course of the Raptors run to their 2019 NBA championship. Once more, anticipate a doable crossmatch right here, with Butler or probably even Tucker the opening defender towards Harden. Edge: Warmth.

Bench: This could possibly be the swing vote within the sequence. The 76ers have “typically” depth. The Warmth thrive with their depth, be it Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin or Duncan Robinson. Value watching right here is how a lot, if in any respect, the 76ers go together with a backup heart. In the event that they don’t, alternatives could possibly be restricted for the Warmth’s Dewayne Dedmon, as was the case along with his two minutes of motion in Tuesday’s clincher towards the Hawks. Edge: Warmth.

Coach: Each the Warmth’s Erik Spoelstra and 76ers’ Doc Rivers this season have been named Prime 15 coaches of all-time by their friends. So there shall be high quality on the sidelines. However the actuality is that the latest pattern measurement favors Spoelsrta, together with the way in which this season’s first spherical performed out. Edge: Warmth.

Intangibles: There are two major components right here. First, the Warmth maintain homecourt benefit. And this could possibly be a sequence the place all seven video games are required. Then there may be the damage ingredient, from Lowry’s hamstring pressure to Butler’s knee soreness to Embiid’s thumb. Any attrition might sway the stability. Edge: Warmth.

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Prediction: Warmth in six.

Warmth vs. 76ers


Recreation 1: Monday, FTX Area, 7:30 p.m., TNT.

Recreation 2: Might 4, FTX Area, 7:30 p.m., TNT.

Recreation 3: Might 6: Wells Fargo Heart, 7 p.m., ESPN

Recreation 4: Might 8, Wells Fargo Heart, Time TBA, TV TBA

Recreation 5*: Might 10, FTX Area, Time TBA, TNT.

Recreation 6*: Might 12, Wells Fargo Heart, Time TBA, ESPN.

Recreation 7*: Might 15, FTX Area, Time TBA, TV TBA

* – If mandatory.

(Observe: No native tv.)