Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

When: Wednesday, 18 December 2019, 7:00 PM

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, Fox Sports Sun | 97.5 The Fanatic, WAXY 790 AM / S: WAQI 710 AM

Miami Heat (Away)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 542-371 | MIA}

Season Record: 19-8

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kendrick Nunn – (G) Duncan Robinson – (F) Jimmy Butler – (F) Meyers Leonard – (C) Bam Adebayo

Top Performers:

  • (F) Jimmy Butler – 35.7 MPG | 21.2 PPG | 6.8 APG | 6.4 RPG
  • (G) Kendrick Nunn – 30.9 MPG | 16.1 PPG | 3.6 APG | 1.0 SPG
  • (G) Goran Dragic – 28.7 MPG | 15.9 PPG | 5.0 APG | 3.2 RPG

The streaking Miami Heat has cooled off as of late. Despite going 18-6 to open the season, the Miami Heat have dropped two of their last three. Most recently splitting their last two of three on their current road trip.

The Miami Heat are coming off of a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies were too much to handle in the paint and the Heat suffered for it. They’ll have to pick up their interior defense when they face off against Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers have been great recently, despite coming off of a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. It’ll be a defensive matchup, as Miami and Philly lean toward stopping the ball more often than scoring it.

Philadelphia 76ers (Home)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 198-322 | PHI}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Ben Simmons – (G) Josh Richardson – (F) Tobias Harris – (F) Al Horford – (C) Joel Embiid

Season Record: 20-8

Top Performers:

  • (C) Joel Embiid – 30.7 MPG | 22.8 PPG | 12.3 RPG | 1.3 BPG
  • (F) Tobias Harris – 34.3 MPG | 19.7 PPG | 6.9 RPG | 3.3 APG
  • (G) Josh Richardson – 30.4 MPG | 14.7 PPG | 3.4 RPG | 3.0 APG

The Philadelphia 76ers continue to try and claw their way back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Despite a difficult start, they have gone on an impressive streak to reach the top three of the East.

The Sixers are coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Brooklyn Nets. While they were able to score in the paint, their ability from deep in that loss was absolutely awful.

The Sixers will have to worry about their shooting and their opponents when they take on the Miami Heat. The Heat are in the top ten in scoring, more than capable of testing the Sixers’ versatile backline.

What’s At Stake?

The Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers are neck-and-neck in the all-time regular-season series. At the moment, the Miami Heat lead the Philadelphia 76ers 61-60 over the course of 121 regular-season games.

A win for the Miami Heat would vault them to second in the Eastern Conference, leapfrogging the Sixers and the Celtics.

A win for the Philadelphia 76ers would bring them within three games of the first-place Milwaukee Bucks.

Questions to answer

Do the Miami Heat have the size to stop their opponents?

Can the Philadelphia 76ers get back to being the efficient three-point shooting team we know?

We are going to compare the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Can the Miami Heat Compete in the Paint?

The sample size is small of the Miami Heat, but their last 1-1 stretch over the first two games of their three-game road trip has created some telling signs. Despite beating the Dallas Mavericks, the Heat lost to the Memphis Grizzlies due to their inability to compete on the inside.

Over their last two, the Heat have been outrebounded by 4.5 and have allowed 12.0 offensive rebounds per game. Despite shooting 44.2% overall themselves, they are allowing opponents to shoot 46.5% from the field.

The Sixers are a versatile offensive team, who thrive on the paint. Miami has generally been good on the inside, so they’ll need some renewed inspiration to slow down Joel Embiid.

The Sixers Must Improve Their Shooting

Losing by 20 isn’t a good look for the Sixers. While every team will have these kinds of nights, the Sixers’ inability to convert from range was to their detriment. Normally an incredibly efficient shooting team, the Sixers were dreadful.

On the season, the Sixers shot 36.5% from deep – good enough for seventh in the NBA. Against the Nets, the Sixers were 5-26 for 19.2%. You could blame inaccuracy, but more likely it is due to the lack of Embiid drawing defenders into the paint.

With Embiid back they are sure to get more opportunities from deep. Harris, Horford, and Richardson went a combined 0 for 13 from three against the Nets. They’ll need better from their regular contributors if they hope to beat the Heat.

The Heat Must Regain Their Resolve

It’s been a fun run for the Miami Heat. However, their recent loss to the Memphis Grizzlies showed how much effort they’ve been putting in. Despite being down by quite a lot, the Heat were able to rally, despite not coming away with the win.

The Memphis Grizzlies are no pushover team, as they forced the Heat into submission at times during the match. Down 17 points, the Heat were briefly able to take the lead. Although it did not last.

Their lackadaisical defense had them in trouble from the beginning. Something they can’t afford against the Philadelphia 76ers. Considering the Heat lost the first half to the Grizzlies, they’ll need a strong start to slow the Sixers.

The Sixers Might Have A Star in Pelle

While Joel Embiid was out, the starting center position went to Al Horford. However the first big off the bench for the Sixers was Norvel Pelle. While he wasn’t brilliant, he showed flashes of potential that excited Philadelphia fans.

In 20 minutes of play, Pelle was fairly impressive. He still struggled to move his feet side to side, but he showed off an awareness that is certainly worth building upon.

Pelle contributed two points, four rebounds, and two blocks in 20 minutes of play. He won’t be displacing Embiid anytime soon, but he’s looking to be a capable shot blocker and rebounder in spot minutes.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

(G) Goran Dragic – 15 Dec 2019 – Out (Groin) – Dragic is out for Monday’s (Dec. 16) game against Memphis.

(F) James Johnson – 15 Dec 2019 – Out (Personal) – Johnson is out for Monday’s (Dec. 16) game against Memphis.

(F) Justise Winslow – 15 Dec 2019 – Out (Back) – Winslow is out for Monday’s (Dec. 16) game against Memphis.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

(C) Joel Embiid – 15 Dec 2019 – Out (Illness) – Embiid is listed as OUT for Sunday’s (Dec. 15) game against the Nets.

(G-F) Matisse Thybulle – 15 Dec 2019 – Day To Day (Illness) – Thybulle left Sunday’s (Dec. 15) game against Brooklyn and did not return.

Head-to-Head: (C) Bam Adebayo vs (C) Joel Embiid

The matchup of the night comes from the centre position. Both the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers rely on their defence to win games, and it starts in the middle.

(C) Bam Adebayo (6-9, 255lb (206cm, 115kg) | Kentucky | 2 Years)



Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 MIA 27 34.1 15.2 10.7 4.6 .573 .111


Bam Adebayo is coming off of a tremendous run where he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week. While his scoring numbers have come back to earth, he has still been excellent in other categories.

Over his last three games, Adebayo has averaged 12.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game. Going along with his 1.7 steals and 2.7 blocks per game, Adebayo is looking in fine form to take down Joel Embiid.

(C) Joel Embiid (7-0, 250lb (213cm, 113kg) | Kansas | 3 Years)



Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 25 PHI 22 30.7 22.8 12.3 3.3 .461 .316


Before sitting out with illness, Joel Embiid has been on an absolute tear. Over his last three, Embiid has averaged 28.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and a block and steal per game.

While his status is up in the air, Joel Embiid is still expected to play against the Heat. Taking advantage of Bam Adebayo will be his job. While settling for threes shouldn’t be Embiid’s priority, his ability to convert from deep will be key for the Sixers’ paint attack.

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

Why the Miami Heat Will Win

The Miami Heat have been winning games off of the back of their tremendous two-way ability. They can take this win if they are able to shut down the Sixers’ stars and enforce their own offence on a talented defensive side.

Why the Philadelphia 76ers Will Win

The Sixers’, when engaged, have offensive weapons that cannot be rivalled across the league. If they can sort out their play, as led by Ben Simmons, they should be able to overwhelm the Miami Heat.

WSN’s Pick

The Miami Heat are a hard-working team, whose grit helps them overcome most difficulties. Philadelphia tends to struggle with pressure on their ball handlers, which the Heat are adept at enforcing.

WSN Picks: Miami Heat defeat Philadelphia 76ers

The odds for the Lakers vs Pacers game are provided by bet365 NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and SugarHouse NJ.

Good luck!

Money Line

Sportsbook Heat 76ers
bet365 NJ +240 -300
DraftKings +235 -286
SugarHouse NJ +235 -286

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