Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat 3/5/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Matchup Preview (3/5/22)

The red-hot Philadelphia 76ers (39-23) travel to face the Miami Heat (42-22) Saturday night in a battle between the top Eastern Conference seeds. The 76ers are 4-0 with James Harden on the team and look poised to make a deep playoff run. Since the Bulls lost to the Bucks, the 76ers are now the 2nd seed in the East. They are coming off a 125-119 victory over Darius Garland and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Early on, the Cavaliers could not miss a shot and scored 43 points in the 1st quarter. However, the 76ers outscored them 95-76 the rest of the way. Garland was superb with 26 points and 19 assists, while Isaac Okoro scored 22 points on 87.5 FG%. The 76ers trio prevailed in the end, especially because of Tyrese Maxey’s 33 points on 66.7 FG% and 83.3 3PT%. Harden had a double-double of 25 points and 11 assists on 60 FG%. Embiid took a backseat this game due to the Cavs stifling interior defense, but he still managed 22 points and 9 rebounds. Off the bench, Georges Niang scored 17 points on 5/8 from three. The 76ers are without James Harden this game because of his bothersome hamstring. He is only expected to miss this game though. 

The Heat have won 5 of their last 6 games with the 12th Offensive Rating and 6th Defensive Rating in that span. Their only loss was a sloppy blown lead over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat enter this vital game on a high note. They just beat the Brooklyn Nets 113-107 in spite of their injuries. Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and PJ Tucker were unable to play, but that didn’t stop the Heat from spoiling Kevin Durant’s return. Bam Adebayo tortured the Nets in the paint to the tune of 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists on 12/15 from the field. Max Strus poured in 21 points on 6/12 from three. Off the bench, Tyler Herro produced 27 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists. Caleb Martin sliced the Nets bench apart for 22 points on 72.7 FG%. Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Max Strus, and PJ Tucker all entered this game questionable, but they are all probable to play. The only player out for the Heat is Kyle Lowry. 

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Betting Odds

The season series is tied 1-1 between these two Eastern Conference frontrunners. The Heat won the first matchup 101-96 on December 15th even though Adebayo, Butler, and Herro were out. Gabe Vincent paced the Heat in scoring with 26 points on 7/12 from three. The 76ers avenged their loss with a 109-98 win on January 15th. Embiid dominated with 32 points and 12 rebounds because Adebayo was not there to curb his influence. I like the Heat to win this game and take the series lead. Harden and Lowry are out, and that benefits the Heat far more than the 76ers. Maxey will become the primary ball handler for the 76ers now. The Heat are deeper and have great options to defend Maxey, Harris, and Embiid. Look for the Heat to win this game and stop the 76ers win streak. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 3/5/22
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Arena: FTX Arena – Miami, FL
Channel: NBA League Pass

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Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: Matisse Thybulle
SF: Tobias Harris
PF: Georges Niang
C: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers Analysis

The 76ers are rolling through teams right now because of their secret weapon: James Harden. His arrival and immediate success have been loudly proclaimed, but I am talking about the unheralded advantage he brings to the 76ers – a boost in hidden points. Free throws are not talked about often, yet they are one of the most important factors in a game. They simultaneously provide tremendous offensive value while also giving a foul to your opponent. How valuable are free throws? The average FT% this season is 77.2%, which means an average player is expected to produce 1.544 points every time he goes to the line for two shots. Three point shooting is idolized (rightfully so), but it pales in comparison to free throws. PJ Tucker is leading the NBA in 3PT% at an excellent 45.2%. Every time Tucker shoots a three, his expected value is 1.356 points. The difference in expected points per possession between free throws and 3PTA is 0.188. It does not seem like much, but that is for one possession. NBA teams average around 102 possessions per game, which means shooting free throws provides about 19 more points per 102 possessions. Also, that is between an average free throw shooter and the best three point shooter in the NBA. Imagine the difference with Harden (87.1 FT%) and Embiid (81.6 FT%). 

That is the hidden value Harden provides – free throws. The 76ers are easily averaging the most FTA per game since Harden made his first start four games ago at 36.3 FTA. Embiid leads the NBA in FTA, while Harden is 3rd. Unfortunately for Miami, they are 28th in personal fouls per game. The 76ers will get easy points in this one in addition to putting the Heat in foul trouble. Harden’s absence means this advantage won’t be devastating, but Embiid will cause problems for the Heat. 

Miami Heat Starting Lineup

PG: Gabe Vincent
SG: Duncan Robinson
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: PJ Tucker
C: Bam Adebayo

Miami Heat Analysis

The Heat are never easy to put away, no matter who is playing. Heat Culture and Eric Spoelstra ensure that opponents have to play the full 48 against them. Bam Adebayo is averaging 23 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.8 SPG, and 1.8 BPG in his last five games. He can facilitate out of the post or score with his tricky arsenal. Defensively, Adebayo is a menace who forces turnovers and stifles drivers. He must get the better of Joel Embiid. Holding Embiid to less than 25 points would be a major win for the Heat. The Heat need Gabe Vincent to match Tyrese Maxey. In his last four games, Maxey is averaging 26.8 PPG on an other-worldly 64/70/86 shooting split. Gabe Vincent had a forgettable game against the Nets, but he scored 41 points across the two previous games. Off the bench, Herro can take advantage of this 76ers bench backcourt. He is on his own scoring tear in the last five games at 25.8 PPG on a 51/44/77 line. Herro can push the lead with his clutch shooting off the dribble and shot creation.  

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat Daily Fantasy Picks

I like Tyrese Maxey and Tyler Herro to steal the show in this one. They both have been lighting up teams, whether it be spot up shooting or off the dribble. The Heat can throw Adebayo at Embiid, and Maxey will control touches as the primary ball handler. Adebayo will get his numbers, but Embiid is a tough defensive force in the paint. Herro will have the ball in his hands often; he is encouraged to let it fly whenever he can. With Herro coming off the bench again, he can torture the 76ers bench with ease. Regardless of who plays, Herro will be in the lineup come crunch time. I expect Herro to lead the Heat in scoring on a great shooting night. 

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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