The Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff matchup on Saturday evening. The 76ers are the third seed in the East, while Miami comes in as the six seed. Philadelphia finished the regular season with a record of 52-30. Miami, meanwhile, finished the regular season with a record of 44-38.
These two teams split the season series, 2-2, with two of the games coming down to the final possession. Miami comes in with plenty of recent postseason success, while the Sixers completely changed the direction of their franchise this season. The Philadelphia 76ers are -7 over the Miami Heat on Saturday.
The Battle Tested Miami Heat
The Miami Heat come into this game with postseason experience on their side. The Southeast Division champions have a roster full of veterans, and a coach who has championship pedigree. Point guard, Goran Dragic, is the catalyst for the Miami Heat offense and averaged a team leading 17.3 ppg and 4.8 apg during the regular season. Inside, center Hassan Whiteside, averaged a double-double of 14.0 ppg and 11.3 rpg while also being a defensive rim protector for the Heat.
Head Coach, Erik Spoelstra is known as one of the NBA’s best coaches, and will have his team ready for this game. He has a lot of players that he can use both offensively and defensively to try and steal game one. The Heat also have a future Hall of Famer, Dwayne Wade, to provide both leadership and clutch scoring in tight ball games.
The Red Hot Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers finished the regular season as the NBA’s hottest team, and winners of 16 straight games. Philadelphia completely surpassed expectations this season with a roster that is still full of young players. Potential Rookie of the Year, Ben Simmons had a monster finish to the season and recorded 6 triple doubles in the last month of the season. Philadelphia will potentially be without Center Joel Embiid for Game 1 of this series.
Philadelphia has enjoyed great success this season at home, posting a 30-11 record during the regular season. Veteran players, JJ Reddick and Marco Bellinelli will try to provide the long range shooting that the 76ers will need in this game to protect home court. The return of highly touted, Markelle Fultz should also provide much needed depth for the Sixers.
Philadelphia Protects Home Court
The city of Philadelphia and 76ers fans have been waiting a long time for this moment, and Wells Fargo Center will be rocking Saturday night. Ben Simmons will continue his breakout rookie season with a monster performance in Game 1. Even without Joel Embiid the 76ers have enough other pieces to provide scoring.
The Miami Heat, and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will have a game plan ready to stop Ben Simmons, but it won’t be enough. The electricity in the building will help the Philadelphia 76ers take game 1 of this series. When you are ready to bet on this game – take the Philadelphia 76ers -7 over the Miami Heat on Saturday.