Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers will meet in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday evening. The hosts want to build up on their previous performance and defend the home-court advantage. The away side searches for a better display and a chance to return home with a win.
Miami was pretty confident in the series opener, and the home side looks forward to continuing in the same fashion. Another victory would see them being halfway to the Conference finals. On the other hand, Philadelphia needs to find a way to cope without Joel Embiid. The visitors need a better performance to be more competitive in this encounter.
Miami Heat – Can they defend the home-court advantage?
The Heat go to Game 2 after a confident performance in the opening match of this series. They let the 76ers be competitive in the first half, but the hosts controlled the game in the second period. Miami eventually celebrated a 106-92 victory which boosted their confidence ahead of this encounter. The Heat had a decent 43.3 field goal percentage, but they would need to improve their shooting from the three-pointer area. On the other hand, Miami controlled the paint with ten rebounds more than their rivals and kept the number of turnovers to a reasonable number.
Despite scoring only 15 points in Game 1, Jimmy Butler is still the Heat’s most productive player in the post-season. He averages 27.4 pts, eight rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.6 steals per game. Tyler Herro led Miami to success in the latest match with 25 pts, while he has produced 14.8 points on average in the playoffs. Bam Adebayo tops the rebounds charts with 8.7 per contest while contributing with 14.3 pts. He was excellent in the series opener with 24 points, 12 rebs, and four assists. However, the Heat might still have certain selection issues in this tie. A number of players are questionable, including Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro, Caleb Martin, and P.J. Tucker, while Kyle Lowry is still unavailable.
Expected Line-Up: Gabe Vincent, Victor Oladipo, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo
with best odds
Philadelphia 76ers – Will they improve without their best player?
The 76ers had a solid role in the 2nd quarter of the opening match, but that wasn’t enough for a positive result. They eventually lost 106-92 and need to try something else in Game 2. Although Philadelphia’s shooting wasn’t much worse than Miami’s – 43.0 field goal percentage – they hit only 17.6% of their three-pointer attempts. The 76ers did not do much in the paint, having ten rebs less than their opponents. They should increase their numbers to be more competitive in this one, otherwise, the visitors will be in big trouble.
Joel Embiid leads Philadelphia’s offense by scoring 26.2 points and having 11.3 rebounds per game in the playoffs. However, we missed Game 1 and won’t be able to make an appearance on Wednesday evening as well. Tyrese Maxey averages 21 points, 4.4 assists, and four rebs, while James Harden tops the assists charts with 9.4 and produces 18.6 points per contest. Tobias Harris was the most efficient player in the series opener with 27 pts, but he couldn’t lead the 76ers alone. Nevertheless, he contributes with 19.1 points and nine rebounds during the post-season. On the other hand, Joel Embiid remains the only but significant concern for the 76ers regarding the availability issues.
Expected Line-Up: Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Paul Reed
Expert Pick #1 – Miami Heat -8 @-110
Miami is a strong favorite in Game 2, and I expect the hosts to meet expectations and take a 2-0 lead in this series. They’ve been in a much better momentum, and the Heat might cover the number again, although the margin is quite high. Nevertheless, I’ll back the hosts ATS as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 207.5 @-110
Despite a low margin in the totals market, I’ll go with the Under as my second bet. It cashed in Miami’s last six games and in five of the previous six Philadelphia matches. Therefore, I expect these two teams to continue in the same fashion.
Expert Pick #3 – Philadelphia 76ers Under 99.5 @-110
Miami’s defense has been very disciplined recently, and they have allowed only 97.6 pts per match in the playoffs. On the other hand, Philadelphia will be without Joel Embiid again, which will severely affect their offensive potential. I’ll take the 76ers to score less than 100 pts as my third pick at the same odds as the first two.