Just three games separate these franchises in the race for the top seed in the East. And with both looking to avoid a first-round matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, this game will be must-watch television.
The Heat Keep Rolling
Erik Spoelstra's team continues to be on a roll. Regardless of who's playing, their tough defensive identity and balanced offense are big trouble even for the strongest teams in the Association.
Miami disappointed in last year's playoffs as they fail to keep up with the eventual champions Milwaukee Bucks. Now, they're looking to prove that their trip to the NBA Finals in the Orlando bubble wasn't a fluke and that they can compete with everybody.
Can The Sixers Bounce Back?
The Philadelphia 76ers have shown glimpses of great play in the James Harden era. His chemistry with Joel Embiid is scary for the rest of the league, and Harden's presence has opened up multiple shots for Mattise Thybulle and Tyrese Maxey.
However, they were completely clamped during Sunday's loss to the Toronto Raptors, scoring just 51 points through the final three quarters. Needless to say, it won't get any easier when they face the Heat's physical defense.
Key Stats, Injuries, And Trends
Other than Jaden Springer and Victor Oladipo, both teams have their full squads available for this exciting matchup. As for the trends, we should keep in mind that the Heat are 7-0-1 ATS in their last 8 road games, 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a road favorite, and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games.
Also, the under is 4-0 in Heat's last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, and 4-0 in Heat's last 4 vs. a team with a winning straight-up record.
Picks For Heat At Sixers
All things considered, picking a winner for this game is a complicated task we'd rather avoid. This will be a playoff preview and neither team will want to cave into the other.
What we can say, however, is that this is going to be a low-scoring affair. Both teams know each other pretty well, and the Heat are elite at limiting their rivals' half-court play.
Neither team likes to push the pace, either, which is why we believe this game will go under the total set at 217.5 points.