Gameday Rundown: HEAT vs. 76ers Game 6
Tune in at 7:00 PM on ESPN
Miami HEAT vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Thursday, May 12 @ 7:00 PM
Series Record: 3-2 Miami
Location:Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Tipoff: 7:10 PM
Radio:WAXY 790 AM/WRTO 98.3 FM
Item of the Game: Miami HEAT Playoffs Tee - $15
Uniform: Statement - Red
Injury Updates: Kyle Lowry, Out, Injury/Illness (Hamstring Strain) - P.J. Tucker, Available, Injury/Illness (Right Calf; Strain) - Tyler Herro, Available, Injury/Illness (Left Ankle; Sprain) - Max Strus, Available, Injury/Illness (Right Hamstring; Strain) - Caleb Martin, Available, Injury/Illness (Left Ankle; Sprain) - Gabe Vincent, Available, Injury/Illness (Knee); Philadelphia: Joel Embiid, Questionable, Injury/Illness (N/A; Facial fracture / Right thumb sprain) - Isaiah Joe, Questionable, Injury/Illness (Right Ankle; Sprain) - Matisse Thybulle, Questionable, Injury/Illness (Left Foot; Soreness)
- The HEAT and 76ers met four times this regular season with the teams splitting the series, 2-2.
- The HEAT are 67-64 all-time versus Philadelphia during the regular season, including 43-23 in home games and 24-41 in road games.
- Additionally, the teams enter this postseason having faced each other just two times during the playoffs with Miami winning the 2011 First Round (4-1) and the Sixers winning the 2018 First Round (4-1).
The Series So Far:
Game 1: It wasn’t always pretty, at least not until a fourth-quarter run that just kept on rolling, but the HEAT took Game 1, 106-92, as they attacked a Philadelphia 76ers team missing Joel Embiid on the glass and in the pick-and-roll – Bam Adebayo’s 24 points on 10 shots were welcome, but of little surprise – while keeping the ball out of James Harden’s hands and the paint simultaneously much in the same way they did to the Atlanta Hawks. Tobias Harris (27 points) and Tyrese Maxey – beating Miami’s press in ways that haven’t happened very often this season – presented thorns in the proverbial side for a time, but by the fourth it didn’t matter with the Sixers shooting 6-of-34 from three. Tough to say how much of this one will carry over to the rest of the series if and when both teams get whole, but tonight it was the 76ers spending the evening looking for answers. One the HEAT got out of their own way after struggling offensively in the first half, the game was theirs as the team playing harder, more disciplined and completely within the identity they built up over a long regular season. Full Recap
Game 2: Another convincing victory for Miami as they took a 2-0 series lead. They let Philadelphia hang around a little longer than they did in Game 1, but the second-half haymaker still came and the result was another double-digit victory, 119-103. Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo all played to their standards while Victor Oladipo – 19 points, a couple big shots in the fourth – again contributed on both ends. The 76ers got a better James Harden performance – better, but not great – with P.J. Tucker again face-guarding and picking up fullcourt after makes, as he put up 20 points with nine assists (though it took 15 shots). They also got positive stretches from Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey (34 points, a lightning bolt in the open floor). They just didn’t get the complimentary shooting they needed (8-of-30 from thee), and against Miami’s scheme you need that complimentary shooting. The HEAT shot 14-of-29 from deep – plus-18 on points from threes in a 16-point game – and are now 31-2 this season when shooting at least 40 percent behind the arc. Philadelphia did find more to work with in this one. They were still -11 when either center, DeAndre Jordan or Paul Reed, was on the floor and that’s the lack of Embiid, but they got downhill more often, pushed in transition and their shot quality was much improved. But solutions can sometimes be double-edged, as leaning into the playing smaller lineups that have been 76ers best options has also meant playing lineups that haven’t been used very often, and that lack of experience keeps showing up on defense where Miami is able to answer every run with plenty of good looks of their own. There might be some pieces from Game 2 that matter as the series goes on the road, but not tonight.Full Recap
Game 3: Game 3 if often the game. If the higher seed goes 2-0 at home, they have a chance to go up 3-0 from which no team in league history has ever come back from. The home team always has a sense of urgency, trying to keep their season alive and make a series out of it. Philadelphia got the added boost of getting Joel Embiid – playing with an orbital bone fracture and a torn thumb ligament – back and won what was, to this point at least, the most important game in the series after a commanding 31-to-14 fourth quarter to make it 2-1 despite Jimmy Butler (33 points on 22 shots, brilliant again) doing all he could to keep Miami in the game. Just about every single thing you’re going to read about this one will be about the return of Embiid. That’s for good reason, considering Embiid might win the MVP and both ends of the court were entirely different in both form and function with him available. We’ll get into it more below, but so much of what the HEAT were able to do in those first two games has been rendered irrelevant. From here on, this is a different matchup.Full Recap
Game 4: Philadelphia got their best player back, the complexion of the series changed and now we’re headed back to Miami with things tied up 2-2. For the second-straight game, the Jimmy Butler kept the HEAT within striking distance, and for the second-straight game the Sixers had an answer for every run. The good news is that tonight looked better than Game 3. The threes still didn’t fall – 7-of-35 is pretty wild, all things considered, especially as the Sixers are hitting 48 percent, again – but this time Miami got to the rim for 20 attempts, earned 28 free-throws and were generally less reliant on long jumpers after posting nearly a season high in mid-range jumpers the previous outing. And while Philadelphia ran away with things in the fourth quarter of Game 3, Miami was right there until the final two minutes despite James Harden dialing it back to MVP levels with 31 points (6-of-10 from three), stepping back into one huge shot after another. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo (21 points on 12 shots) combined for 61, there just wasn’t enough supplemental shooting around their efforts – or defensive stops in lieu of that – to get the HEAT over the top. Miami hasn’t played poorly, they’ve just been out-shot. Full Recap
Game 5: It’s not often that you win a playoff game in the first quarter, but that’s what the HEAT did tonight after taking the opening period, 31-19, and riding that lead to a crucial Game 5 victory and 3-2 series lead. A quick 7-0 burst to open the fourth – the pivot point of both Games 3 and 4 when Jimmy Butler had to sit – didn’t hurt either, but for the most part this was as steady and composed as the HEAT have been all season with a double-digit lead. There was no let up, no stretch of questionable minutes to give the other team life. They just stuck with what they do, did it well and let the 76ers make all the mistakes. The last two games of the series were ripe for analysis with the complexion of the floor changing due to the return of Joel Embiid, but with this one there isn’t much meat on the bone. Neither team changed all that much, Miami simply showed up with a B+ game and it was more than enough when all Philadelphia had to offer was a C- at best. As thoroughly dominant a game as you’ll see in such a high-leverage spot. The HEAT have a chance to close the series out Thursday on the road.Full Recap