GAME PREVIEW: Heat look to keep sixth seed hopes alive Thursday against Sixers
Miami needs to win their final three games to have a chance at avoiding the play-in.
The Miami Heat continue their three-game road trip in an all-important showdown against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday evening.
The Heat have only won two straight, but need to win their final three games — as well as pray the Brooklyn Nets lose their final two — in order to avoid the play-in tournament next week. They have not won five straight all season, and are 1-1 against the Sixers this season.
Miami beat Philadelphia by two in Wells Fargo Center on Feb. 27, but got eviscerated by 23 points inside the Kaseya Center (formerly Miami-Dade Arena) against the Joel Embiid-less Sixers on March 1.
The Heat have won two of their last five road games, including a 118-105 road victory against the lowly Detroit Pistons Tuesday. Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his 27 points in the final quarter, adding eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals; Gabe Vincent scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, a season-high, while Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo tallied 18 points apiece.
The Sixers, who have the No. 3 seed locked up, have won three straight at home and five of their last six. Their most recent win came on Tuesday against the No. 2-seeded Boston Celtics 103-101 behind a remarkable 52-point, 13-rebound, 6-assist game from Embiid on 20-of-25 shooting.
Can Miami keep their No. 6 seed hopes alive for another day? We’ll find out Thursday!
Bam Adebayo (quadriceps) — QUESTIONABLE
Nikola Jovic (back) — OUT
Kyle Lowry (knee) — QUESTIONABLE
Louis King (G-League) — OUT
Tyrese Maxey (neck) — QUESTIONABLE
Mac McClung (G-League) — OUT
De’Anthony Melton (calf) — QUESTIONABLE
Jaden Springer (G-League) — OUT
PJ Tucker (calf) — QUESTIONABLE
PROJECTED STARTING 5 (at time of publishing):
The Heat are 3-point underdogs, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook. They are an NBA-worst 28-48-3 ATS, while Philadelphia is 45-33-1, the fourth-best ATS record in the league.
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. EST
TV: Bally Sports Sun
RADIO: WQAM 560 & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)
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Let’s see. Sixers with nothing to play for, Heat desperately need to win. Exactly the kind of game the Heat would often lose all season long. Let’s break that trend tonight, but probably too little too late.
If Spo goes with the small ball line-up again, the Heat are going to get killed. Jus sayin.