Sixers Ready to Rebound vs. Heat Thursday and Regain Control

sixers heat

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 4:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018 4:56 PM UTC

Philadelphia travels to Miami to resume the opening-round series, which is knotted at one. Let’s break this one down as we look to cash a winner in Thursday's Game 3.

NBA Thursday: By The Numbers76ers (53-31 SU, 49-35 ATS) vs. Heat (45-39 SU, 42-38-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: 76ers -2Best Line Offered: Betmania

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What's Trending
  • Miami is 2-12 ATS after a win by 10 points or more this season.
  • Miami is 4-10 ATS when playing with two days of rest this season.
  • Philadelphia is 10-4 ATS when playing with two days of rest this season.
  • Philadelphia is 34-23 ATS as a favorite this season.
  • Philadelphia is 6-5 ATS after a loss by 10 points or more this season.

Game Analysis

A lethargic second-quarter by the 76ers coupled with a dominating performance by Miami in the same frame proved to be the downfall of Philadelphia on Monday night. The Heat outscored the Sixers 34-13 in that quarter and despite being outscored in the other three quarters, Miami still claimed a crucial Game 2 victory 113-103 to even the series at one apiece. Dwyane Wade channeled his glory days to morph from role-playing journeyman to the scoring machine he was back in Miami’s championship years. After averaging only 12 points per game in the 21 games he has played for Miami since being acquired from Cleveland, Wade delivered 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in his 25 minutes off the bench.

Philadelphia was still reveling in their 130-103 Game 1 blowout over the Heat before they realized they had dug a hole in the second quarter from which they would never recover. Sixers guard Ben Simmons led the team with 24 points and hauled in nine rebounds in his 39 minutes of action. Power forward Dario Saric contributed 23 points and eight boards as the only other productive offensive force for Philly. Rookie Markelle Fultz saw just five minutes of playing time and was 0-for-3 from the field.

So now the series moves to Miami and the 76ers must decide if they will cede to their blossoming superstar Joel Embiid’s wishes and allow the big man in the middle to suit up Thursday night despite the protestations of Philadelphia’s medical staff. If Embiid does dress, you can expect the NBA odds board to be changing rapidly. As of this writing all of the major online sportsbooks have Philadelphia -2, which has much to do with the change in venue from the 6½ they were laying in Game 2 at home. It may also have to do with Philadelphia’s aura of invincibility, as well as its 17-game winning streak, having been shattered Monday.

Whether Embiid shows up or not, I like Philadelphia to rebound. The team is younger and more talented than the Heat, and to expect Wade to repeat his stellar performance is asking too much. The young guns from Philly have learned a thing or two about resting on their laurels and will view the Heat with far more intensity in this pivotal meeting. Let’s lay the small number with the road favorites and back the Sixers in our NBA picks.

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