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

How to Watch

What: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Where: Wells Fargo Center in Philadelhia, PA

When: Thursday, February 21st at 7:00 PM EST

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

Miami Heat (Away)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 510-350 | MIA}

After an off-season that suggested the Miami Heat wouldn’t make any noise in the NBA regular season, the Heat now boast a record of 26-30. Enough to tie them with the Detroit Pistons for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat have slipped as of late, before the All-Star Break. They’ve accumulated a 4-6 record in their last ten contests two separate three-game losing streaks. While five of those six losses were to plus-.500 teams, the Heat will need to step up if they want to make the final eight in the East.

The Heat take on a revamped Philadelphia squad that is loaded with talent. The Sixers boast four all-star level talents, despite their thin bench. The Heat are a talented defensive team, but will need to ramp up their offensive production if they want to keep pace with the Sixers.

Philadelphia 76ers (Home)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 164-304 | PHI}

The Philadelphia 76ers enter the last half of their season locked in a tie with their rivals the Boston Celtics with a record of 37-21. While they are aiming for the third spot – with Indiana primed to fall – they will be fighting tooth and nail for the upper hand in the East with the Celtics.

The Sixers were on a solid if not spectacular run before the All-Star Break. With a 6-4 record over their last ten, the Sixers were able to Nuggets, Lakers, and Warriors in that span of time.

With time to rest and regroup, the Sixers will be looking to perfect their combination with newcomers Boban Marjanovic and Tobias Harris in the fold. The Heat are an athletic defensive team with the ability to switch at every position. The Sixers should be wary of a post break hangover, or else the Heat will easily take advantage.

What’s At Stake?

The Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers are close in the all-time series. With a record of 60-58, the Heat lead the Sixers by a slim margin.

A win for the Miami Heat would help them overtake the Detroit Pistons who occupy eighth in the Eastern Conference.

A win for the Sixers would help they wrest fourth position from the Boston Celtics.

Questions to answer

Has Winslow shown himself to be the future?

Harris has shown the right signs for the Sixers

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

Winslow Has Become the Heat’s Primary Playmaker

With Goran Dragic out for an extended period of time, Justise Winslow has flourished in his role of make-shift point guard. At first thought to be a Shawn Marion-esque defensive forward, Winslow has shown unexpected depth to his game.

Offensively Winslow has been able to distribute the ball nicely and has increased his three-point output while maintaining similar efficiency (37% not he season). His field-goal attempts are also way up, 11.3 versus 7.2 last season, mostly due to the mismatches he creates on the catch alone.

Should Winslow be the point guard over Gorand Dragic when he returns? No. However Winslow has shown ability far beyond what he was projected to have coming into the NBA and has only improved all season. He may not be the Heat’s star today, but he is certainly one to build on for the future.

Harris Has Shown Versatility

When the Sixers swung the deal for Tobias Harris fans knew what to expect. A rangy forward with bundles of offensive ability. What he’s shown Philly fans has been much more than that in his short stint.

In four games with the Sixers Harris boasts a 91.9 defensive rating, good enough for best on the Sixers. His switch ability and length has been key to the success of the Sixers on the defensive end and has been a cherry on top of the full package that is Tobias Harris.

The Sixers have struggled guarding the screen and roll all season and Harris has shown that he may be a solution to that. With dropping bigs on the screen, Harris’ ability to fight over with his athleticism limits both penetration and the kick-out. Time will tell if he can maintain this effort.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

G Goran Dragic – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Knee) – After undergoing arthroscopic surgery, the Heat still have no update on his return.

F Derrick Jones – 28 Jan 2019 – Out (Right Knee Bone Bruises) – Jones Jr. is expected to be out for at least six weeks.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

G Furkan Korkmaz – 13 Feb 2019 – Day To Day (Right knee soreness) – Korkmaz did not play in Wednesday’s (Feb. 13) game against the Knicks.

G Shake Milton – 5 Feb 2019 – Out (Finger) – Milton broke his finger and there is no timetable for his return, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

G Zhaire Smith – 13 Feb 2019 – Out (Foot) – The 76ers expect Smith to make a return this year according to Serena Winters of NBCS Philadelphia.

Head-to-Head: Hassan Whiteside (MIA) vs Joel Embiid (PHI)

Hassan Whiteside

Center | 7-0, 265lb (213cm, 120kg) | Marshall | Exp. 6 Years

12.8 PPG | 0.9 APG | 12.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 2.1 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .550 FG% | .133 3P%

Joel Embiid

Center | 7-0, 250lb (213cm, 113kg) | Kansas | Exp. 2 Years

27.3 PPG | 3.5 APG | 13.5 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 1.9 BPG | 3.6 TOV | .482 FG% | .295 3P%

It is always a must watch when two players the likes of Hassan Whiteside and Joel Emiid face off. Whiteside is a defensive savant while Embiid is one of the most unstoppable offensive forces in the NBA. Whichever player wins out will likely decide the game.

Hassan Whiteside has had difficulty progressing as quickly as the NBA has away from his position. From 32.6 minutes per game to 25.4, Whiteside hasn’t lost minutes due to his defensive acumen but due to his lack of offensive abilities. Regardless Whiteside is a defender you want on Embiid every time he is on the court. Whiteside is long, athletic, and intelligent enough to cause Embiid problems.

Joel Embiid usually has the edge in this matchup but that is generally the case in all matchups. Embiid has struggled from range this season and it is very much due to increased volume. He will have to be diligent attacking Whiteside as his length and athleticism can bother even Embiid in the paint.

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Philadelphia 76ers favoured over the Miami Heat by 6.5, with an over/under of 110.