Some people had the Miami Heat locked in for a sweep after they took the first two games against the Philadelphia 76ers in South Beach, and with the Sixers’ Joel Embiid looking like he may miss the entire series with a broken orbital bone.
What the Heat did not expect was to lose both games at the Wells Fargo Center and head back home in a 2-2 series tie.
Not only did Philadelphia tie things up over the weekend, they’ve got momentum and look like they could win this thing. Embiid has returned the last two games, and James Harden found his stroke on Sunday.
The Heat are still a -3 point favorite on Tuesday night, and a series doesn’t really start until a home team loses.
76ers Clicking Now
Philadelphia dropped the first two games at FTX Arena without Embiid, and they really weren’t close (106-92, 119-103). The whole dynamic of this series has changed, though, with Embiid making the decision to play through pain. The big man has gone for 18/11 and 24/11 the last two games – a bit lower than his season average in scoring (30.6) but still very valuable contributions.
It was almost like the Sixers got two players back over the weekend, as retro James Harden showed up with 31 points on Sunday – 16 in a crucial 4th quarter. Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, and Danny Green all hit crucial shots down the stretch, and Philadelphia really played like a cohesive unit in Game 4 – but can they do it on the road?
Heat Back at Home
Miami would have loved to steal one in Philadelphia, but now their main goal is to remember that they are still in the driver’s seat with home-court advantage in this series. With the two wins in this series, Miami is now 34-12 at FTX Arena this season and are also 7-1 ATS in their last eight on their own court.
Jimmy Butler had an amazing trip to Philadelphia with 33 and 40 points in the last two games, but he didn’t get a ton of help – especially on Friday when Tyler Herro (14) was the only other player in double figures as the Heat scored just 79 points. Herro had 11, Bam Adebayo 21, and Victor Oladipo 15 on Sunday, but the Sixers still cruised to an 8-point win.
76ers/Heat Betting Prediction
What once looked like a sweep now legitimately appears to be a series that is headed for seven games. The major question heading into Tuesday night’s game is if Harden can continue to contribute for the Sixers or if his Game 4 performance was just a flash in the pan?
You have to be optimistic about the way Butler is scoring if you’re a Miami backer, but at the same time, is he doing too much? The Heat get by, but games where 3-4 players in the starting lineup fail to score double figures is playing with fire. That being said – home court.
Betting Pick: Miami Heat -3