Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers play-in tournament predictions, head-to-head record, starting lineup and more

It was clear from the start of the season that the Miami Heat would be a struggling bunch, but seeing the Philadelphia 76ers go from the best team in the Eastern Conference to a playoff berth was unexpected. The Heat have dealt with a series of injuries to Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Kevin Love that could have them in the East. By the end of the regular season they were seeded eighth.

However, the Sixers were thriving when Joel Embiid led the team in scoring average, making him an immediate favorite for the MVP title. However, Embiid gradually began to miss games more often, and in late January 2024, the Sixers announced that he had a torn meniscus. He needed surgery to repair the damage but returned fairly quickly to compete with the Sixers. Unfortunately, they will have to face a grueling play-in tournament to defend their current spot.

The Philadelphia 76ers have a better chance to win against the Miami Heat

The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are preparing to battle for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. A seventh seed would be ideal for any team as they face the less experienced New York Knicks in the first round. However, the loser of this game will likely face the Boston Celtics in the first round, should they win the second leg of the playoffs. And Boston has a winning record against both teams.

Now, with Joel Embiid back in the lineup, the Sixers are quite a scary matchup considering he’s averaging 34.7 points, 11 rebounds and 5.6 a*sists per game along with 1.7 blocks. Against the Heat, Embiid put up 29 points while putting up low numbers defensively. He will be a key player in the Sixers squad while Tyler Hero and Bam Adebayo are the star players predicted to lead the Heat.

However, there is a large amount of inconsistency in Heat’s scoring. They have certainly improved their defense, ranking fifth in the league in defensive rating this year. Erik Spoelstra’s eyes are going to be focused on stopping Embiid. However, the Sixers will have to be smart enough to use Tyrese Maxey and get open looks for Embiid to get all of his defensive attention. But based on their offensive talent, the Sixers can easily win this match.

The Miami Heat have a winning record against the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs

Interestingly, the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers have already had a few battles in the playoffs. The play-in tournament is treated like a playoff game and has the edge over the Miami Sixers in the postseason scenario. The Heat have a 9-7 record against Philly in the postseason.

Miami last played in the playoffs against the Sixers in the 2022 NBA postseason. Butler was able to lead the Heat outscoring the Sixers in six games. Embiid was injured during the series as he suffered from a broken orbital bone. But this season, the Heat haven’t faced the Sixers with Embiid in the lineup. The Cameroonian-American athlete is more dominant than ever and recently won an MVP. They led the regular season series 2-2.

Both teams barely played with fully healthy rosters all season. Moving into the playoff scene, it will be important for both teams to have their superstars ready to play. Here is the expected lineup for the Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers play-in tournament game.

Philadelphia 76ers Expected Starting Lineup:

  • Tyrese Maxey
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Kelly Oubre Jr
  • Tobias Harris
  • Joel Embiid

Miami Heat Expected Starting Lineup:

  • Tyler Hero
  • Jimmy Butler
  • Caleb Martin
  • Nikola Jovic
  • Bam Adebayo

The Heat recently announced that Terry Rozier did not attend the team’s practice on Tuesday due to a neck injury. Rozier has also been left out of the starting lineup which could cause serious damage on offense and defense. He averaged 16.4 points while shooting 37.1% from deep on 5.7 attempts per game.

The Sixers don’t have a consistent knockdown shooter like the Heat. At least ten of their key players (including five and the bench) average between 1.5 and 2 3-PM per game. And the team averaged a higher 37% from deep compared to Philly’s 36.3% from beyond the arc. Miami usually depends on their perimeter shooting times.

The Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers play-in tournament game is set to tip off at 7 PM ET. Fans can watch the game on ESPN and NBA TV. The Sixers will host the Heat at the Wells Fargo Center.

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