Preview: 76ers look to tie series vs Heat tonight in Game 4
With Joel Embiid masked up and anchoring the 76ers in the paint, the Philadelphia 76ers battled back against the Miami with a 99-79 win on Friday night, pulling the series back to 2-1 in favor of the Heat. Tonight, they will look to even the series before heading back to South Beach on Tuesday for Game 5.
MIAMI INJURY REPORT
- Dewayne Dedmon (cold) – QUESTIONABLE
- Tyler Herro (left ankle sprain) – QUESTIONABLE
- Kyle Lowry (left hamstring strain) – QUESTIONABLE
- Caleb Martin (left ankle sprain) – QUESTIONABLE
- Max Strus (right hamstring strain) – QUESTIONABLE
- P.J. Tucker (right calf strain) – QUESTIONABLE
- Gabe Vincent (right knee irritation) – QUESTIONABLE
PHILADELPHIA INJURY REPORT
- Joel Embiid (facial fracture, right thumb) – QUESTIONABLE
- Isaiah Joe (right ankle sprain) – QUESTIONABLE
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The Scott Foster Dilemma
Scott Foster will be the ref for the game tonight which has a ton of 76ers pissed today on social media. Foster simply does not like James Harden. Harden has one win in playoff games reffed by Foster. HOWEVER, playoff teams that are down in a series are an astounding 19-2 in games with Foster.
Green and Maxey Explode from Three
Offensively, the 76ers finally found their rhythm in Game 3. After shooting a miserable 14-for-64 from three point range over the first two games, Danny Green and Tyrese Maxey exploded to combine for 12-for-15 from three point range on Friday night. As a team, the 76ers knocked down 16-of-33 attempts from beyond the arc.
Embiid, who clearly wasn’t playing his best basketball, still managed to score 18 points and pull in 11 rebounds in the win. Speaking of not playing their best basketball, James Harden and Tobias Harris finished a combined 8-for-24 from the floor for 26 points.
The Embiid Effect on Defense
Outside of Jimmy Butler who finished with 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the floor, only one other Miami Heat player finished with double-digit points. Tyler Herro who crushed the 76ers over the first two games was held to just 14 points on 5-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Defensively, the 76ers were incredible in Game 3, thanks in large part to Joel Embiid. Embiid’s presence in the paint and his ability to step out on the perimeter had the Heat questioning taking shots that they took at will over the first two games.
Bam Adebayo was nonexistent around the rim, being held to just nine points on 2-of-9 shooting. The 76ers out-rebounded the Miami Heat 44-35 and kept it basically even on the offensive boards, 8-10.
Heat-76ers Odds via BetMGM
|Miami Heat||+1.5 (-110)||+105||O 207.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-1.5 (-110)||-125||U 207.5 (-110)|
Game 4 Tonight at 8PM
Outside of Jimmy Butler, the Miami Heat scored 46 points on 15-of-55 shooting (27.3%), shooting 6-of-25 from beyond the arc. You have to believe that the Miami Heat will come out and shoot better tonight than they did in Game 3.
Miami looked rushed on offense instead of finding the right mismatches with Embiid on the court. Adebayo was useless, and having to switch their offensive formula that worked so well in the first two games was clearly an issue. Adjustments will be made tonight.
For the 76ers, obviously shooting a near 50 percent from three point range is a winning formula but who knows if that’s actually sustainable.
Tobias Harris did not have a good offensive performance on Friday and Tyrese Maxey scored all of his points in the second half. Take those two players and mix in Joel Embiid, who is now on game two of wearing a mask and should be more comfortable after being out for a week, the 76ers should be even more dangerous offensively than they were on Friday.
- Joel Embiid over 11.5 Rebounds +104
- Tobias Harris over 15.5 Points -110
- Tobias Harris over 1.5 Threes -148
- Danny Green Three Made Threes -122