Tag Archive for: Philadelphia 76ers

Miami Heat Secure 4 or 5 Seed in Eastern Conference

The Miami Heat have had their fair share of ups and downs during their time in the bubble. But finally secured a 4 or 5 seed, due to a Philadeplia 76ers loss to the hot Phoenix Suns.

This means that the Miami Heat will match-up with either the Indiana Pacers or Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, which seems to look more and more like Indiana due to the 76ers superstar inuries. This also means that the Miami Heat will be avoiding a Boston Celtics first round match-up, which is obviously a huge positive for this Heat team.

Consequently, Miami will most likely have to face the number one team in the league, the Milwaukee Bucks, in a possible second round match-up. And the Heat will feel much better than the Bucks do heading into that match-up. Miami is 2-1 against the Bucks this year, and the one loss occurred this week in a game without Jimmy Butler, and the Heat lead by 17 at the half.

This seems to be best case scenario for this Heat team, since they can face a banged up Indiana team, and avoid a second round Boston or Toronto match-up, which would be much tougher for Miami than the Milwaukee match-up.

Miami needs either one win or one Indiana loss to secure the 4 seed, which doesn’t matter much since there’s no home court advantage. We may see some of Miami’s veteran players sit out during these games, or will definitely get limited minutes.

If the Heat face off against the Indiana Pacers in the first round, it will be expected that Miami brings the same energy that they brought last night. Especially since there are so many intriguing match-ups on the floor, including Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren.


We’re Headed for Heat-76ers, Aren’t We?

With Victor Oladipo recently announcing his decision to forego playing the rest of the 2019-2020 NBA season, it seems likely the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat will finish in the 4- and 5-seeds in the East. Currently, Miami is two games ahead of both Indiana and Philadelphia.

Yes, Miami does have a chance to catch the Boston Celtics at the 3-seed. But Miami faces a difficult schedule in Orlando. They’re already 2.5 games back and play Boston on a second night of a  back-to-back. And again, considering their strength of schedule, it’s a must-win if they have any  hope of grabbing the 3-seed.

The 76ers face an easier schedule. Unless all the 76er players forgot how to play basketball during the break (doubtful), they should easily move past the Pacers in the standings.

They only face one team in the top-4 of the standings from both conferences: the Toronto Raptors. It’s hard to predict if Philly can bump the Heat to the 5-seed, considering all the uncertainty of the resumed basketball season.

Either way, the Heat and 76ers will be the 4/5 matchup.


Heat-76ers Matchup

Both teams are confronted with lineup and rotation questions. Brett Brown experimented playing Al Horford off the bench, however it was only for three games because point guard Ben Simmons got injured. The sample size is too small to make definitive conclusions, but the spacing on the floor is clearly worse when Joel Embiid and Horford are on the court together.

It’s important the Heat use their seeding games to get lineups and sets aligned, regain team chemistry, and continue to build on the brotherhood.

The Miami Heat have yet to play at full strength after acquiring Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodola and Solomon Hill. With Meyers Leonard, Tyler Herro, and Kelly Olynyk expected to come back fully healthy, Spoelstra is going to be challenged with lineup decisions and rotation options.

After it was announced the Miami Heat were closing its facilities after three players tested positive for the Coronavirus. It is even more important now to use these eight games to adapt to each other’s play style and establish roles.

The Heat are 3-1 against the 76ers this year and hold the tiebreaker against them. After their first matchup getting blown out in Philly, Miami has controlled the matchup. They’ve beat them three straight times including an overtime thriller in Miami.

The Heat use their infamous 2-3 zone against Philly during portions of the game. They pack the paint and force an erratic shooting team to make outside shots. Philadelphia uses their size to exploit Miami’s defense and to get easy points with Simmons leading fast breaks.

What a Show it Would Be

Fans from both cities want and need a Jimmy Butler vs 76ers first round matchup. After Philly refused to sign Butler to a max contract, Butler made it clear he wanted out. He landed in Miami where 76er fans claimed the Heat wouldn’t even make the playoffs.

We should expect a high intensity, competitive matchup between two teams and fan bases that sometimes hate and disrespect each other. Philly has high standards to meet after many expected them to be favorites out of the East before the season started. Miami has exceeded expectations this season and looks to make a deep run in the playoffs.

Ultimately, this matchup won’t be anything less than a brawl.

The numbers-crunchers (kinda) like the Miami Heat

While 538 is best known for its political predictions, the statistical website runs plenty of models on sports too.

And it has run one on the Miami Heat and other NBA teams.

Here’s the entire article, which we will explore in more detail — zeroing in on specific Heat players — in future posts here.

But, for now, here’s a look at how they see the team as a whole, based on this calculus…

How this works: These forecasts are based on 50,000 simulations of the rest of the season. Our player-based RAPTOR forecast doesn’t account for wins and losses; it is based entirely on our NBA player projections, which estimate each player’s future performance based on the trajectory of similar NBA players. These are combined with up-to-date depth charts — tracking injuries, trades and other player transactions — to generate talent estimates for each team. A team’s full-strength rating assumes all of its key players are in the lineup.


— They have the Heat as the 15th best team in the league, with a projected record of 42-40. That’s actually below the over-under at most Las Vegas sportsbooks.

— That would have them 6th in the East, behind the Bucks, 76ers, Celtics, Raptors and Pacers. The Nets and Magic are next. If Kevin Durant returns during the season, expect the odds to change.

— They have the Heat with a 78 percent chance of making the playoffs. In the West, that would be significantly lower.

— Chance of making the NBA Finals? That’s at 3 percent.

— Championship chance? Less than 1 percent.

On that last one, they obviously haven’t watched Tyler Herro enough.

Embiid Tells ESPN “Butler Was a Big Loss”

Joel Embiid took a few shots to his own teammates, somehow…

Apparently, Philadelphia 76ers fans don’t agree with their star center about Heat forward Jimmy Butler.

While those fans have been furiously tweeting that Butler didn’t choose “winning” when he decided to leave for Miami in free agency this summer, Joel Embiid told Rachel Nichols of ESPN in a sitdown, ”I wish Jimmy was on the team.”

“When it was the 4th quarter we knew, the ball would be in, me (sic) or Jimmy’s hands. I knew I could count on him.”

Embiid went on to speak about how he can improve his abilities in late-game situations, but does not speak of how this role could possibly be shared with other teammates. This includes former first overall pick Ben Simmons, who has received criticism for his poor long-range shooting throughout his career.

It appears Simmons still has work to do if he wants to reach Jimmy Butler level of trust with Embiid.

So what was Butler’s response to this?

Here’s the full clip (warning: there’s Jimmy language in it):

Butler on Embiid: “That’s my dog, for real. We talk all the time. Even when I was traded here, I told him to continue to dominate. Continue to prove why you’re the best player in this f—ing league. I believe that.”




Miami Heat

Why are 76ers fans acting so stupid?

There’s a reason for the Miami Heat to have a rivalry with many of the teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

The Knicks…. naturally, though that’s now going back more than two decades to any real relevancy.

The Pacers, because of all those times Paul George fell short in South Florida, after his stops at Tootsie’s.

The Magic? Well, everyone wanted this to be something, but it never was, since Orlando has had Mickey Mouse front offices for so long.

The Celtics? Yeah, f— Paul Pierce. Forever and always.

The Bulls? For a while, for sure. And the sight of Joakim Noah still makes you wretch, wherever he is stealing money these days.

And of course, the Cavaliers, because of that whole LeBron thing. Heat 2, Cavaliers 1.

But the 76ers?

How could anyone get worked up about the 76ers? They haven’t won a championship since 1983, five years before the Heat were born. They have faced the Heat in just two playoff series, one win apiece. They spent half a decade bottoming out, telling you to Trust the Process, and while they came out of it with Joel “Out-Due to Something” Embiid and Ben “Scared to Shoot” Simmons, they also botched a number of picks, from Okafor to Noel to Fultz. Oh, and Dion Waiters is from Philadelphia, and but it’s not clear whether Heat fans are reclaiming him again yet.

Now, though, the Heat and 76ers have made a trade for the first time since Miami sent Arnett Moultrie (who?) there. Jimmy Butler is with the Heat, or will be, once he stops partying in Amsterdam. Josh Richardson is with the 76ers, and he suddenly went from an entirely overlooked player to the greatest 3-and-D guy who has ever lived according to the anti-Miami national media.

And even though many believe Richardson will fit well, and even though Butler wasn’t in Philadelphia very long, 76ers fans just can’t get over Butler wanting out of their fair little city, and choosing no state tax, beaches and a winning organization instead.

Evidence: this cute little Players Tribune parody.

The title is Why I’m Retiring to Florida.

Here’s a clever excerpt:

A big reason all my teammates love me is my drive to win. Winning is literally the only thing I care about, so leaving a championship contender in Philly was tough. But the lifestyle that comes with being rich, famous, and retired in South Beach was just too good to pass up.

I couldn’t be more excited to begin my four-year retirement tour with the Miami Heat. Just look at how they treated Dwyane Wade last season! Although it was close, the Heat had more Wade nights than the Sixers did Iverson nights, and that ended up playing a big part in my decision. I fully expect a Wade level send off from these Miami fans, and I think Adam Silver might even give me an honorary spot in the next few All-Star games.

This is, um, confusing.

The 76ers have achieved the lofty heights of the second round of late.

Give them that.

But there’s a small issue with mocking Butler for leaving a winning situation for a non-winning one.

Basically, it’s bullshit.

I’ll leave you with this, the same way Allen Iverson left Ty Lue.



Is there hope in the East for the Heat?

Well, that went as expected.

The Eastern Conference first round was full of mismatches, especially with Indiana missing Victor Oladipo, and so it should have surprised no one that all four series were slaughters, with the favorites taking 16 of 18 games.

It was also a stark reminder of how far the Miami Heat are from serious contention in the conference. They finished behind the Nets, Pistons and Magic, teams with just a couple of certifiable stars between them. The Heat can talk about injuries (and they were banged up than the Magic in particular, though not the Nets). But the reality is, they’re just not good enough — and with Dwyane Wade retiring, likely about to get worse.

This isn’t us saying it.

It’s you.

After the four top teams in the East easily advanced, we polled it at @5ReasonsSports.

At last count, the Raptors and Celtics were “leading” at about 33 percent each, followed by the 76ers, with the Bucks way behind — because they have Giannis.

But the most popular response was “none of the above.”

It’s hard to envision the Heat passing the Bucks anytime soon. The 76ers? Even if Jimmy Butler leaves, they still have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in their early 20s, and probably Tobias Harris. The Celtics may lose Kyrie Irving, but they are still stocked with assets.

The only real wild card is Toronto, considering they could lose Kawhi Leonard, likely to the Clippers.

But — and this is sad to say — if you’re betting Masai Ujiri vs. Pat Riley lately, you go with Ujiri.