- Date & Location: Tuesday, May 10 at FTX Arena in Miami. FL
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: TNT
The Miami Heat earned their spot in the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Semifinals by defeating the Atlanta Hawks in five games. Miami finished the 2022 NBA regular season with a record of 53-29, which was the best in the conference. With that, the team secured home court advantage throughout the conference portion of the NBA playoffs.
The Philadelphia 76ers moved onto the second round of the 2022 NBA postseason by topping the Toronto Raptors in a six-game series.
The home court advantage could come into play during the Heat’s series with the 76ers. Miami won the first two games of the series (106-92 and 119-103) in Miami, but dropped the next two when the series moved to Philadelphia. The 76ers won on their home court 99-79 and 116-108. With the series tied at two games apiece, the Heat and 76ers head back to Miami for tonight’s Game 5.
76ers vs. Heat picks
|To Win 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals|
Philadelphia 76ers breakdown and analysis
Ever since James Harden joined the Philadelphia 76ers via a late season trade with the Brooklyn Nets, there have been worries about the performance of the 32-year-old former NBA MVP. His 21 points per game with Philadelphia during the regular season were his lowest number since he became a starter with the Houston Rockets in the 2012-13 season. When his average dipped below 20 points per game during the playoffs, the concerns became more pronounced about Harden’s play.
The jury is still out on Harden, but he bought himself and his team some time on Sunday when he scored 31 points in his team’s Game 4 win over the Miami Heat. Harden led the team in scoring in Game 4. Joel Embiid was second with 24 points.
For Embiid, Sunday was the second game he played in the Miami series. He missed time because of a broken orbital bone and concussion protocols. Embiid improved in Game 4. He played two more minutes than he did in Game 3 and scored 24 points while adding 11 rebounds. That was six more points than he had in Game 3. Embiid also increased his field goal percentage from 41.7 percent to 53.8 percent.
Miami Heat breakdown and analysis
The Heat are going to have to make some adjustments ahead of Game 5. With Joel Embiid back in the Philadelphia line up and James Harden suddenly hot, the Heat are in a tough spot. Not only do the Heat have to worry about Embiid, but they have to know that he is only going to get better with each minute he spends on the court. That’s a scary proposition because Embiid was an MVP-caliber player for the 76ers this season.
Jimmy Butler carried the offensive load for the Heat in Game 4 with 40 points in 42 minutes of play. Bam Adebayo was the second highest scorer for the Miami squad with 21 points. Outside of Butler and Adebayo, no starter scored more than seven points for the team.
Miami needs to get more offense from its starting five. Tyler Herro has contributed from the bench with an average of 14.7 points per game.
The good thing for Miami is that they were the best team in the East at home during the regular season with a record of 29-12. The Heat went 1-1 against Philly at home during the regular season.
This is a tough one to pick, especially with the game Harden had and the improvements Embiid made. However, one good game does not give me confidence with Harden, especially since he followed his last 30+ point game with an 18-point performance and then a 12-point outing.
Pick: Miami Heat to beat Philadelphia 76ers.
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