Our Heat season companion part 10 discusses the Heat going 1-1 against the 76ers. The Heat beat the 76ers in Philadelphia 101-99 before losing a lopsided game to them in Miami 119-96. The Heat remain in seventh place in the Eastern Conference for now and are fighting to avoid the play-in tournament. Let’s get into the latest season companion.
Heat Season Companion Part 10: The Heat Played Well in Philadelphia
The Miami Heat played quite well in Philadelphia against the 76ers, despite their 13-19 away record heading into this game. The Heat held the 76ers to 99 points on 43.8% shooting. The Heat’s defense was very good in that win, as you can see from those stats.
Bam Adebayo and Cody Zeller both had crucial blocks against Joel Embiid in this game. Zeller showed great hustle to get back in transition and get a chasedown block on Embiid in the fourth quarter of the Heat’s win. Zeller played some good minutes for the Heat, despite only scoring five points.
The Heat’s offense also performed well in Philadelphia. Three-point shooting has largely been a struggle for the Heat this season, but they shot 40% from three-point range against the 76ers in Philadelphia. Additionally, the Heat only committed 13 turnovers against the 76ers in that close victory.
Heat Season Companion Part 10: The Heat Fell Far Short in Miami
The rematch with the 76ers in Miami did not go well for the Heat. It was a blowout win for the 76ers, as previously mentioned. The Heat’s issues with three-point shooting plagued the team once again, as the Heat only made 24% of their three-point field goals in this game. The 76ers also took much better care of the ball, only committing nine turnovers while the Heat had 13 turnovers once again.
The Heat also lost the rebounding battle, as the 76ers grabbed 41 rebounds compared to only 33 for the Heat. The Heat started off the game well and had a 38-34 lead after the first quarter. However, the Heat fell apart in the second quarter, getting outscored 37-15 by the 76ers. This game was lost in that second quarter as the Heat never recovered. Unfortunately, the Heat’s offensive struggles remain a problem even this late into the season.
The Season Series against the 76ers Could be a Playoff Preview
The Heat could still start a winning streak and finish higher than sixth in the East. However, it is unlikely that the 76ers will finish higher than third in the East, given the gap between them and the Celtics and the Bucks. As a result, the Heat could face the 76ers in the first round of the playoffs as the sixth seed.
This would be a rematch of the second round series between the Heat and the 76ers in the 2022 playoffs. The Heat won that series four games to two. However, a first-round matchup against the 76ers would be quite tough for the Heat, especially given their away record this season. Given this fact, it would be best for the Heat to find a way to finish at least fifth in the East so they have a more favorable first-round matchup.
The Heat Play the Knicks Tonight
The Heat play the Knicks tonight in Miami. This is an important game for both teams, especially since the Heat are coming off a lopsided defeat to the 76ers. Hopefully, the Heat can bounce back with a win against the Knicks and start to build some positive momentum. I would bet that Adebayo will score at least 20 points in this game, given the matchup against Julius Randle.
Check back next week for more Miami Heat content.