Tonight, the Miami Heat will host the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Semifinals of the NBA playoffs. The Heat received some good news about All-Star Jimmy Butler that after missing game 5 of the first round vs Atlanta, Butler (knee-inflammation) is expected to play tonight.
The 76ers on the other hand were informed that MVP candidate C Joel Embiid will miss at least the next two games after suffering an orbital fracture in the final minutes of game 6 vs Toronto.
Jimmy Butler will return to face his old team and the 76ers will see if James Harden and co. can carry the load with Embiid out.
It should be an interesting series but for now, lets give our 3 keys to victory for the Miami Heat:
1.) Stay True To Your Identity
Philadelphia has enough guys that will make their shots with Harris, Green, Maxey, Harden, and Niang. However, Miami cannot be discouraged when they do hit. If Miami can keep constant pressure on their ball handlers, Harden, Maxey and force them to make jump shots, they should win the rebounding battle with Bam leading the way on the boards.
James Harden and Embiid when he returns are nothing short of brilliant when it comes to creating shots and getting to the foul line. Miami’s rotations will need to be on-point and defense can’t be lazy in transition. If the Heat can control the pace on offense, the game should go in their favor. Considering that this is the playoffs, no big lead is ever enough. Miami must keep their foot on the gas all night long. The Heat will need to stay out of foul trouble and their level of aggressiveness could determine the series.
3.) Sharing is caring but let your big man eat
Staying the course with how they’ve been playing when they win, not just on defense but also on offense when they are sharing the ball and playing in sync. Gabe Vincent/Victor Oladipo have done a great job filling in for Kyle Lowry/Jimmy Butler, but with “Jimmy Buckets” back in the lineup, Miami must find a happy medium with good ball movement and feeding Bam Adebayo.
No Embiid could mean that Bam Adebayo officially has the green light. Don’t be surprised if the offense runs through the Heat Center. He should see a lot of Niang in the painted area, but Bam’s quickness and length should help the Heat get off to a fast start in this series.
Tipoff starts at 7:30 PM and be sure to get all your NBA Playoff coverage right here on Foxsports640!