The Miami Heat, fresh off an important road win over the favored Philadelphia 76ers, look to hold home court advantage, eliminating the need to win two out of the last three games on the road in a seven-game series.
When: Thursday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV: TNT, Fox Sports Sun
Radio: 790 AM, 106.3 FM, 98.3 FM (Spanish)
Win Probabilities: Miami is a 1 point underdog via the ESPN pickcenter.
76ers: Ben Simmons, JJ Reddick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Amir Johnson
Miami: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside
76ers: Joel Embiid (doubtful, orbital face fracture), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrat (out, knee)
Heat: Dion Waiters (Out, Ankle)
The Heat lost their first 2018 post-season meeting in Philadelphia 130-103, but managed to even the series with a 113-103 road win, noted for the crucial 28 points Dwyane Wade scored coming off the bench.
The biggest unknown for the upcoming game is whether or not Joel Embiid will be cleared by the medical staff to take the court and confront his arch nemesis Hassan Whiteside.
Ruled out by the 76ers before tipoff, Embiid made the call to push through and play, and then dealt San Antonio a rare bad hand in Philadelphia. Embiid had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a 112-106 win over the Spurs on Wednesday night.
During the regular season the 76ers were 30-11 at home and 22-19 on the road; the Heat were 26-15 at home and 18-23 on the road.
Since Feb. 9, when Wade came back to Miami, the Heat’s 15-12 record was heavily skewed towards success at home: 13-3 in AA Arena and 2-9 in other venues.
During the same time span, the 76ers went 16-1 at home and 10-4 away from it.
Notably, since Erik Spoelstra’s first season in 2008-09, his 71 playoff wins tops all NBA coaches, including Gregg Popovich’s 65 victories in post-season action over those ten seasons.