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GAME PREVIEW: Heat return home against surging 76ers

Heat’s tough schedule continues with the 76ers rolling into town with a five-game win streak but with Harden out.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (42-22) wrap up their toughest week of games this season when they host the Philadelphia 76ers (39-23) Saturday night at the FTX Arena with tip-off set for 8:00pm.

UPDATE: Philadelphia is now listing James Harden as out for tonight with a hamstring injury.

The No. 1 team in the East notched two solid wins, first against the Chicago Bulls 112-99 on Monday and in their last game, a 113-107 victory on the road against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday. They were just seconds away from a victory against the Milwaukee Bucks the previous night — but a win against the second place 76ers tonight, the fourth consecutive team Miami faces that are chasing them at the top of the East, would certainly take the sting off that agonizing fourth quarter meltdown.

In fellow HHH writer Matt Pineda’s analysis last week of what faced the Heat, he had this to say about tonight’s matchup and it still holds true today with Philadelphia winners of five straight and looking dominant since their trade-deadline deal with the Nets to acquire superstar James Harden.

James Harden, Joel Embiid, and the 76ers will be a challenge for Miami. Embiid, when engaged is a really tough cover for the Heat. Bam, as good as he is, is just small enough to not be bothered much by Embiid. If he’s on, the Heat need to work harder on everyone else.

The Heat doesn’t have a problem keeping James Harden from scoring a ton, but he is an able creator that has hurt them moving the ball. This matchup will give us a great glimpse of how these two teams match up after that trade.

In addition to Harden, Philadelphia has listed newly acquired center DeAndre Jordan as day-to-day in their injury report.

Miami meanwhile will continue to have starting point guard Kyle Lowry out for personal reasons. Victor Oladipo is projected to sit his final game tonight before making his season debut on Monday against the Houston Rockets. Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, PJ Tucker and Max Strus are all listed as questionable.

The ODDS for the game have the Heat at -2 (-110) on the spread. The over/under for the game is sitting at 219.5.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
Game 1 Tuesday, May 17 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2 Thursday, May 19 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3 Saturday, May 21 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4 Monday, May 23 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 5* Wednesday, May 25 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6* Friday, May 27 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7* Sunday, May 29 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game Details

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee surgery recovery)
  • Markieff Morris: out (neck)
  • Kyle Lowry: out (personal reasons)
  • Javonte Smart: out (two-way)
  • Caleb Martin: questionable (Achilles soreness)
  • Jimmy Butler: questionable (toe)
  • Max Strus: questionable (shoulder)
  • PJ Tucker: questionable (knee)

PHILADELPHIA:

  • DeAndre Jordan: day-to-day
  • James Harden: out (hamstring)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Derrick White SG Tyler Herro
Jaylen Brown SF Max Strus
Jayson Tatum PF Caleb Martin
Al Horford C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

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