After dropping Game 1 to the Miami Heat, the Philadelphia 76ers will look to bounce back and even up in the series in Game 2 on Wednesday night. The Sixers will still be without All-Star center Joel Embiid, who is sidelined with a concussion and broken orbital bone that he suffered against the Toronto Raptors in the first round. The Sixers are hopeful that Embiid will be able to return at some point in the series, but it won’t be for Game 2. Similarly, the Heat will again be without Kyle Lowry, who remains sidelined with a hamstring strain. Miami was able to win without Lowry in Game 1, and they’ll look to duplicate that success in the second game.
Here’s everything you need to know about Game 2 between Miami and Philadelphia.
(1) Miami Heat vs. (4) Philadelphia 76ers
- When: Wednesday, May 4 | 7:30 p.m. ET
- Where: FTX Arena — Miami, Florida
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: MIA -430; PHI +350; O/U 207.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Heat: Miami was very good overall in Game 1, but if there’s one area where the Heat could improve, it would be from long range. As a team, the Heat shot just nine of 36 from long range in the first game. That equates to just 25 percent. They were able to pull out the win despite shooting so poorly from downtown, but it’s not a trend that they’ll want to continue. Specifically, starters Gabe Vincent and Max Strus need to be better, as they shot a combined two of 14 from deep in Game 1.
76ers: The Sixers need more from James Harden in Game 2 if they want to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole. Harden wasn’t bad in Game 1 — he finished the game with 16 points (on 5 of 13 shooting), nine rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes of action — but he wasn’t great, either. With Embiid out, the Sixers are at their best when Harden can consistently attack the defense and make it collapse, and that’s just something he didn’t do enough of in Game 1, as his average field goal attempt distance in the game was 19 feet. He also attempted just four free throws in the game. Miami’s defense deserves a lot of the credit for his pedestrian play in the first game, but Harden simply needs to be more aggressive until Embiid is able to return.
The Sixers were up by one at halftime in Game 1, but let it get away from them in the second half. If Harden is able to elevate his game a bit, and some of Philadelphia’s shooters knock down some shots — something they didn’t do much of in Game 1 — the Sixers could tie the series up before it heads to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4. Pick: 76ers +8.5