The Eastern Conference showdown at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, will see the Philadelphia 76ers going against the Miami Heat for the third time this season. This could also be the very last home game for Dwyane Wade, which means that American Airlines will be fueled with emotions. The Sixers lead the series, beating the heat 124-114 as 2.5-point road favorites and 106-102 as 5.5-point home favorites. Philadelphia clinched the No. 3 seed in the East, while the Heat is one game behind the No. 8 seed. NBA: Tuesday, April 9, 2019, American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida, 7:30 PM ET
The Sixers can relax in their final two games of the season
The Philadelphia 76ers (50-30; 37-43) secured the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 116-96 win at the Chicago Bulls this past Saturday. The Sixers had an easy job against the short-handed Bulls, winning each quarter while making 52.3% of their field goals. Joel Embiid posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while J.J. Redick added 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. The Sixers snapped their three-game losing streak, and now, they can relax in their next two games, waiting for their rivals in the first round of the playoffs.
Joel Embiid is leading the way for the Sixers, averaging 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game while making 48.4% of his field goals. Tobias Harris is tallying 18.7 points and 7.8 rebounds a night; Jimmy Butler is posting 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per contest, while Ben Simmons is adding 16.9 points, 8.9 boards, and 7.8 dimes per outing. The Sixers are scoring 112.7 points per 100 possessions (8th in the league) on 47.1% shooting from the field (7th), allowing 109.9 points in a return (14th in the league) on 45.4% shooting from the field (10th).
The Heat is in a must-win situation
The Miami Heat (38-42; 42-37-1 ATS) is on a four-game losing streak following a 117-109 overtime defeat at the Toronto Raptors this past Sunday. Miami made just 41.0% of its field goals and 73.7% of its free throws, blowing a seven-point lead from halftime. Dwyane Wade led the Heat in his final game in Toronto, scoring 21 points off the bench, while Justise Winslow had 15 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Miami is in a very difficult situation after this loss, one game behind the No. 8 seed Detroit Pistons, so they just have to beat the Sixers tonight.
The Heat will miss Josh Richardson due to a groin injury, and he’s averaging 16.6 points and 4.1 assists this season. Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic will lead Miami tonight, while Justise Winslow is another key member of Erik Spoelstra’s rotation. Winslow is tallying 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.3 dimes per outing. Dion Waiters is playing at a high level at the moment, and he’s averaging 19.1 points over his last ten outings. Miami is scoring 107.5 points per 100 possessions (26th in the league) on 45.0% shooting from the field (23rd in the league), allowing 107.8 points in a return (7th in the league) on 44.3% shooting from the field (3rd).
- 3-6 ATS in the last nine games overall
- 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings with the Southeast Division
- 15-5 SU in the last 20 home meetings with Philadelphia
- 7-4 SU in the last 11 games at home
The Winner Prediction
Even with a victory here, the Heat needs the Pistons to lose to Memphis tonight. Still, I think Erik Spoelstra will prepare his guys well for the matchup with the Sixers. The visitors can play without any pressure, as this game is completely meaningless for the Sixers. Therefore, give me the Heat and points.
The Pick: Miami Heat -5.0 (-110)