Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers 5/8/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Matchup Preview (5/8/22)
Philadelphia dominated in Game Three, and now, we have a series! Initially, reports were listing Joel Embiid as doubtful to play for Game Three, but he overcame the fracture and concussion he sustained in the first round against the Toronto Raptors and provided valuable minutes for the Sixers on both ends of the floor. Philly also shot the ball exceptionally well with a 48/49/86 team shooting split, while the Heat struggled throughout the entirety of the game. From the beginning, Miami looked out of sorts and only had one quarter (the third quarter) that seemed somewhat reasonable. Jimmy Butler finished with 33 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals on 22 shots and was the sole reason Miami didn’t score in the 60s.
Miami has to find some answers offensively outside of Jimmy Butler for this matchup. because another performance like that could sink this team. You have to put up points against a squad with as many offensive weapons as the Sixers. At some point, defense can only take you so far in a league with so many talented offensive weapons. Meanwhile, Philly needs to continue having a hot hand and applying defensive pressure to a lackluster Miami offense if it wants to sneak past the Heat in the Conference Semi-Finals. Take a look at the betting odds section below for my prediction for Game Four and the rest of the series. This game should be a fun one!
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
This is not your typical No. 1 versus No. 4 seed matchup in the Conference Semi-Finals. The Philadelphia 76ers easily have the talent to be a No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but the fear of playing the Brooklyn Nets in the first round combined with a bit of a late-season struggle dropped them down a few seeds. In such a tight Eastern Conference, that was bound to happen. Regardless, the Sixers proved in Game Three that they could be competitive in this series and even win it. I will stick with Philly against the spread since Joel Embiid is back, and this is a home game. The Sixers’ defense improved exponentially with him back on the floor, so I expect that dominance to continue.
There’s not a point total right now that could push me in the direction of betting the over. Two of the first three games in this series have been substantially under the point total, and I don’t see that trend going anywhere. I will take the under and not second guess myself.
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How To Watch
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, PA
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Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Analysis
Game Three was precisely what concerns me about the Miami Heat. This team can get inexplicably cold at any time, and it is unclear how long it will last. Miami finished the game with a 35/23/75 team shooting split, and the only reason it was even that high is because Jimmy Butler played exceptionally well, finishing with 33 points on 22 shots. Without Butler, it is hard to say how poorly the Heat would have played in Game Three. Regardless, the Heat need to put this game behind them and try to steal one on the road in Game Four.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Analysis
It’s incredible what the increase in morale can look like when your best player steps on the floor. This is precisely what we witnessed in Game Three when Joel Embiid was cleared to play after missing the first two games of this series. Embiid did not play particularly well, finishing the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds; however, his defense as a primary defender was spectacular. Miami repeatedly struggled to get clean looks when Embiid stepped up on screens or played one-on-one defense in the interior. As a team, the Sixers shot it much better than they had the first two games of the series. This will have to continue in Game Four and beyond if they want to beat the Heat in a seven-game series!