The Miami Heat will visit the Philadelphia 76ers for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series tonight at 8 p.m. EST. And one storyline that may bubble up throughout this series is the lack of playoff experience that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have — neither of them has played in a postseason game yet.
Three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade took a cautious approach towards thinking that playoff experience is a significant advantage for the Heat.
The following is an excerpt from the Palm Beach Post’s Tom D’Angelo’s story:
When asked about what that truly means, Wade started by saying that experience “doesn’t guarantee you anything” before adding:
“I think it helps you in certain moments. You’ve seen the movie before so you can sit down and tell a person who hasn’t watched this movie what’s coming. Some players and some teams are special and it doesn’t matter how much experience they have. If they’re a good enough team, they’re a good enough team no matter where they’re playing.”
Wade’s comment reflects an interesting dynamic. Miami’s playoff experience in the 2012 NBA Finals helped them against the younger Oklahoma City Thunder, when James Harden especially looked shook. The Heat had just gotten within two wins of the championship the year before and was hungry for a win.
Although Miami won the championship that year in five games, Games 2 - 4 were all close. Miami’s playoff experience helped them in the final minutes of those decisive games. The question Wade, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside will have to answer is whether their playoff experience will give them an edge against the Sixers throughout this series, or whether the Sixers will simply prove to be the better team.