Win on the Road: 76ers-Heat Preview, Odds, and Prediction straight from South Beach
This morning, myself and the rest of The Liberty Line hopped on a plane to Miami so that we could be in attendance tonight for the pivotal Game 5 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. We started drinking in the airport at 7:30 AM so my apologies if this preview isn’t exactly up to par as the rest have been during the playoffs, but let’s get into it.
After falling in a 2-0 series hole, Joel Embiid has flipped this series on its head for the Sixers, aided by clutch performances from Danny Green, Tyrese Maxey, and James Harden. Tonight, they look to win one on the road and take control of their own destiny with a 3-2 series lead.
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Last game, the Sixers were incredible from beyond the arc, hitting 16-of-33 attempts, led by James Harden who hit six three-pointers, and Danny Green who stayed hot hitting 3-of-4 from deep. It was a moment 76ers fans have been waiting for since the NBA Trade Deadline. Harden had a vintage performance dropping 31 points while adding seven rebounds and nine assists.
Harden scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and crushed the souls of the Miami Heat with four three-pointers in the final frame.
Which 76ers player will step up tonight?
Last game, Joel Embiid was 7-for-13 from the floor with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey was 5-for-10 from the floor and finished the night with 18 points, three rebounds, and four assists. Tobias Harris elevated his game in the fourth quarter as well, finishing the night with 13 points, three rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
At the end of the night, nobody on the Heat could contain The Beard, who nailed six of his ten attempts from beyond the arc. Harden’s six threes were the most he’s had since being dealt to Philly in February. If the Sixers have this version of Harden for the remainder of the series, the next several games won’t be close.
The question now, is can James Harden do it again tonight? Well, he definitely could, but I’m going with Joel Embiid tonight fresh off an MVP snub to have a statement game. Embiid has struggled shooting with his torn thumb ligament, but he can have whatever he wants in the paint against the Heat.
It’s time for Joel Embiid to show the world why he is the true MVP of the National Basketball Association, and there’s really no better stage than Game 5 tonight.
Control the Perimeter on Defense
If you look at the first four games of the series, each team has benefitted from playing at home. In Game 4, the Heat shot just 20% on 35 attempts, with no player making more than two shots from beyond the arc. The discrepancy was the deciding factor last game, and if the 76ers can continue to control the perimeter, things could get ugly fast for Miami tonight.
Defensively is where Embiid made his biggest impact, grabbing 11 rebounds and two offensive rebounds to help anchor the 76ers’ defense. Combine that with his ability to step out on guards along the perimeter, and the 76ers have found a winning formula to stop the Miami Heat.
76ers-Heat Odds via BetMGM
|Philadelphia 76ers||+3.5 (-110)||+140||O 209.5 (-110)|
|Miami Heat||-3.5 (-110)||-165||U 209.5 (-110)|
Here’s a saying that we have heard a million times already, but it couldn’t be more true. Playoff series aren’t won until someone wins a game on the road. The Heat do not have to win a game on the road to win this series. The 76ers have to and there’s no way in hell they want to leave it up to a Game 7 on Sunday.
If you want to win one on the road, it happens tonight. Jimmy Butler is going to get his, but if the 76ers can slow down the rest of the Miami Heat offense as they have over the past two games, we should be leaving Miami with a win. The Heat will also be without Kyle Lowry tonight, who is out once again with a hamstring injury.
We didn’t travel down to South Beach for a quick 24-hour trip to lose to the Miami Heat. The 76ers have all the momentum right now and the Heat are trying to fight their way back into this series after Joel Embiid returned to steal it from them.
The Heat are cooked. Sixers win tonight and close it out on Thursday in South Philadelphia.
FINAL PICK: Sixers +140 and OVER 209.5