Miami Heat and the Last of the Playoff Heavyweights

Everybody loves a very good heavyweight struggle. Two huge sluggers. Going at it within the middle of the ring. Every one is able to a devastating punch that may finish the struggle. The Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers symbolize what must be a marquee NBA matchup. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra versus 76ers coach Doc Rivers. Jimmy Butler versus James Harden. Bam Adebayo versus Joel Embiid. Tyler Herro versus Tyrese Maxey. However for a lot of causes, this matchup appears extra like a foregone conclusion. The Miami Heat’s playoff historical past makes them one of many final nice heavyweights of an period dominated by themselves, the Golden State Warriors, and future Corridor-of-Famer LeBron James.

Story of the Tape: The Groups and Coaches

The Heat cut up the regular-season sequence versus the Sixers at two video games apiece. Sport 1 of this playoff sequence represented the Heat’s first have a look at the Sixers with James Harden (The Heat dominated Sport 1 106-92). The final time the Heat confronted James Harden was again in October whereas he was with the Brooklyn Nets. They annihilated the Nets with Kevin Durant enjoying and Kyrie Irving on vaccine hiatus.

Spoelstra versus Rivers has been a historic battle during the last twelve years. Spoelstra has coached the Heat for his complete head-coaching tenure, whereas Rivers has coached Philly and the Boston Celtics throughout their Japanese convention rivalry. That is their fourth playoff sequence teaching towards one another. Spoelstra is up 2-1 in sequence victories, with each wins coming with LeBron James in tow. Spoelstra has two titles in 5 Finals appearances, whereas Rivers has one title in three appearances.

In This Nook: The Miami Heat

On this nook, you’ve the Miami Heat.

Kyle Lowry is from Philadelphia and would like to impress towards his hometown workforce, however he has been battling a hamstring harm. He has missed a ton of video games in his first yr with the Heat. He has been dominated out for Sport 2. Jimmy Butler was traded from Philadelphia in a blockbuster deal three years in the past, which produced an NBA Finals look for the Heat in 2020. Butler is enjoying via a swollen knee. P.J. Tucker was a pivotal piece in profitable the NBA title with the Milwaukee Bucks final yr and got here to Miami as a free agent. He was teammates with James Harden for 3 playoff runs with the Houston Rockets.

Bam Adebayo is a 2017 Miami Heat draft choose who has grown right into a perennial defensive participant of the yr candidate. Tyler Herro, who went to the identical college as Bam (College of Kentucky), averages almost 21 factors off the bench. Herro received the Sixth Man of the Yr award on Tuesday. The remainder of the group contains savvy shooters, athletes, and veterans. A witch’s brew of NBA expertise blended right into a concoction of championship goals.

In This Nook: The Philadelphia 76ers

On this nook, you’ve the Philadelphia 76ers.

This season, Joel Embiid is a entrance runner for the Most Beneficial Participant award. He has dominated the matchup towards Bam Adebayo and the Heat all season. I watched the video games, and the Heat didn’t have a solution for him (24 factors and 14 rebounds per sport). Embiid was a part of the 2018 workforce that knocked Miami out of the playoffs. James Harden was traded to be a second famous person subsequent to Embiid. He began sizzling with the workforce (22 factors, seven rebounds, and 11 assists within the first few video games) and has championship aspirations. These aspirations had him rumored to desire a commerce to the Heat when Harden was a Rocket.

Tyrese Maxey is a lightning-quick third-year guard out of the College of Kentucky (how about them Wildcats?).  This yr, Maxey has been an enormous vibrant spot for the workforce, averaging 17.5 factors per sport and choosing up the manufacturing within the playoffs. He scored 28 factors and beat the Heat with out Harden and Embiid again in March. I feel his floater is among the finest within the sport already. Tobias Harris is their do-it-all energy ahead within the prime of his profession. The remainder of the roster is buoyed by playoff veterans and defensive stalwarts.

The Downside

The 76ers got here into this heavyweight battle with an harm. THE harm, for my part. The perfect participant on this sequence, Joel Embiid, injured his orbital bone and obtained a concussion within the closing minutes of eliminating the Toronto Raptors within the first spherical. He was dominated out of video games 1 and a couple of of the Heat sequence.

The opposite famous person, James Harden, is anticipated to hold the load. A burden Harden should bear as he was the one who demanded a commerce. His excessive wage resulted within the Sixers buying and selling a number of their depth so as to add him.


The Sixers can’t realistically anticipate to compete on this sequence with no wholesome Joel Embiid. James Harden had 4 factors within the second half of Sport 1. Virtually like he was enjoying with one foot out of the door. Irrespective of the way you slice it, that’s simply unacceptable. The 76ers made six complete three-pointers within the sport with little or no inside sport to help them. Embiid’s substitute, Deandre Jordan, was a minus-22 on the ground for the primary sport. The Miami Heat are one of many final nice heavyweights. The system and tradition, very like the Golden State Warriors, have been constructed over a few years. They don’t seem to be a workforce that allows you to cling round for additional video games and threat harm or different issues taking place. I think they win in 4 or 5 video games and revel in watching the rival Bucks and Celtics battle one another.

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