Do or die: 76ers-Heat Game 3 preview, odds, and prediction
The Philadelphia 76ers have dug themselves in a 2-0 series hole against the Miami Heat ahead of Game 3 tonight in South Philadelphia. Their NBA Finals aspirations came to a halt over the past week with Joel Embiid missing the first two games against the Heat, but after days of speculation, there is still hope Embiid will return to the court tonight, masked up, and looking to get his team back on track.
As of this morning, ESPN’s Tim Bontemps reported that Embiid has cleared concussion protocol and participated in shoot around today. Embiid remains listed as doubtful but that could change between now and tipoff tonight.
We all know the saying. Playoff series aren’t won until a team wins a game on the road. This is true. So let’s regroup and see how tonight shakes out for the Philadelphia 76ers.
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Shots Need to Fall. Period.
Over the first two games of this series, the 76ers have lost to the Miami Heat by a combined 30 points. After an 18 percent performance from beyond the arc on Monday, they delivered a 27 percent shooting effort tonight from three point range on Wednesday.
You will not win many basketball games with shooting performances like we saw over the first two games and Danny Green and Georges Niang both need to get their shit together.
The Heat have contained James Harden and while Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey have answered the call over the last two games, it simply wasn’t enough.
The Sixers bench has been outscored 92-40 in the first two games of this series and something has to give if they want to win four of the next five games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Last game, Georges Niang played 10 minutes, made one three, talked a bunch of meaningless shit, and then fouled out of the game. Danny Green, a veteran that should be stepping up without Embiid has made just 2-of-14 shots from beyond the arc this series.
To be clear, even if Embiid plays tonight, the 76ers will have a hard time beating a Miami Heat team with tremendous depth if they can’t shoot at least team average from beyond the arc.
76ers-Heat Game Three Odds
|Miami Heat||-3.5 (-105)||-155||O 210.5 (-115)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||+3.5 (-115)||+125||U 210.5 (-105)|
76ers win tonight
The Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Phillies haven’t won a game in the month of May. That’s going to change tonight. Something has to give, and if Embiid is back on the court for Philly the entire dynamic of this series is going to change.
Having Joel back provides a massive boost on offense and defense. Even if he isn’t fully himself, he will be far better than whatever DeAndre Jordan provided during the first half of the series.
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo