76ers vs. Heat: Prediction, TV channel, live stream, how to watch NBA Play-In Tournament online, odds, time


The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat will face off on Wednesday with a chance at the No. 7 seed in the East playoffs on the line. The Sixers got here after a season that can really be defined by two halves: with and without Joel Embiid. Before Embiid went down with a meniscus that sidelined him for two months, the Sixers had the third-best net rating in the league, and Embiid was a frontrunner for MVP. Things quickly changed after he was sidelined, and as a result, the Sixers tumbled down the standings. 

For the Heat, the season has also been filled with injuries to Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and standout rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., as well as a trade that sent Kyle Lowry to the Hornets — eventually, he joined the Sixers — while Miami got Terry Rozier from Charlotte. While Miami hasn’t been dominant, they enter the play-in with one of the best defensive units since the All-Star break.  

It’ll be an intriguing matchup between the Sixers and Heat, so here’s what you need to know ahead of the first Eastern Conference Play-In game.

76ers vs. Heat

  • Date: Wednesday, April 17 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Location: Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia
  • TV channel: ESPN | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
  • Odds: Sixers -4.5; O/U 207.5

Storylines

Sixers: Embiid is back, and while he missed Philly’s regular-season finale for precautionary reasons, he did tweak the knee he had surgery on in the Sixers’ second-to-last game of the season. I doubt he doesn’t play for the Sixers, given its importance, but it should be at least somewhat concerning. But if Embiid’s knee isn’t bothering him, he’ll be unstoppable against the Heat. Bam Adebayo offers a solid option to defend Embiid, but even he won’t be able to stop the Philly big man from getting his points and, more importantly, getting to the free-throw line. Having Embiid back also opens things up for Tyrese Maxey, who can operate with more space and less defensive attention. 

Heat: It’s going to be a tall task for Miami to knock off the Sixers, who will be playing at home. Not to mention the fact that Miami’s offense can’t be relied upon to score a ton of points. We’ve seen in the past how the Heat can get hot and outshoot pretty much anyone, but as it stands, they rank 21st in the league on offense. While their defense will keep them in this game, if others outside of Butler and Adebayo can’t produce, it’ll be tough to overpower the Sixers.

Prediction

If Embiid is healthy, the Sixers should be heavily favored here. I don’t see how the Heat stop him, and the Sixers’ supporting cast feels more reliable than the Heat’s. The Pick: Sixers -4.5



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