Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers 5/12/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Matchup Preview (5/12/22)
The Sixers and Heat head back to Philadelphia to battle in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Philadelphia’s performance in Game Five was possibly the least motivated basketball I have ever seen from a playoff team that still is very much in contention. The Sixers exerted little defensive effort, often allowing straight-line drives, and-ones, and clean three-point looks to shooters. Miami finished the game shooting 54% from the floor and just shy of 40% from behind the arc. On the other hand, Philly could not buy a bucket, finishing the game with sub-40% shooting from the field. Unfortunately, the Sixers struggle to stay motivated when shots are not falling, and a more disciplined and experienced team like Miami takes advantage of that. It will take a much more concerted defensive effort for Philly to push this series to seven games. Check out the betting odds section below to see my analysis of this matchup and which team will move on to the Eastern Conference Finals!
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
This game should be tight, assuming the Sixers show a little more sense of urgency in this one. Thus far, the home team has won in all five games and has covered the spread, so I will stick with the Sixers to cover, despite my lack of faith in their discipline on the defensive end. I’m expecting a huge game from Joel Embiid, despite the fracture in his face and the annoyance of the mask he has to wear. Embiid is a competitor and he will not go down without a fight.
For the point total, I will stay off it for this matchup. It has been increasingly difficult to predict where the point total will land each game of this series, and there are virtually no trends that could point to one side being better than the other. Additionally, Miami is way too sporadic offensively to make any educated decision on its output on that end.
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How To Watch
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
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Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Analysis
Reports have surfaced that Kyle Lowry will probably miss the remainder of this series due to his hamstring injury. It has clearly bugged him even when he has fought through the injury and played in this series. Miami is still in good shape; Gabe Vincent is a solid option for a starting point guard for this defensive-centric team. Vincent finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists in 28 minutes of play in Game Five. As a team, the Heat obliterated Philadelphia, winning by 35 points. A large portion of that deficit was created in the fourth quarter and after the Sixers had already thrown in the towel; however, Miami was exceptional all game long, especially on the defensive end. If the Heat replicate that defensive effort and three-point shooting from Game Five, they could wrap this series up in six.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Analysis
What a miserable performance from the Sixers. Hopefully, they can put the last game behind them and focus on Game Six. Philly will need to go back to the drawing board for both sides of the ball; it shot the ball exceptionally poorly on offense and gave up easy looks to Miami on the other end. One reason that Philly is not playing as well as it is capable of is the apparent effect of Joel Embiid’s orbital fracture. It is challenging to play basketball, where you need to rely so heavily on peripheral vision and depth perception with a mask on for the whole game. Embiid is experiencing this fact firsthand in addition to being in obvious pain. Embiid can be relied on for 30 points and ten boards in a normal situation but has not eclipsed 24 points in any of his past three games. None of this would have happened if Embiid had not been on the floor when the Sixers were up 30 with four minutes left in a series-clinching game, but I digress. Philly will need to shoot the ball much better than last game and play motivated defense to stand a chance against the Heat.