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Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat
2018 NBA Playoffs, Game 2, April 17
|Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Miami Heat|
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After an impressive 130-103 win in the series opener, Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers will again host the Miami Heat for Game 2 in Round 1 of the Eastern Conference NBA playoffs. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 10am (AEST).
Some speculated the 76ers would tremble after star centre Joel Embiid went down with an injury towards the end of the seasons. Despite this, the Sixers closed out the regular season strong with Simmons and co. making up for his absence without skipping a beat.
Bigs Dario Saric, Amir Johnson and Ersan Ilyasova played heavy minutes in Game 1, a trend that will likely continue until the all-around juggernaut Embiid returns.
Last time out, J.J. Reddick scored 28 points while spacing the floor, allowing Simmons to rack up 14 assists in addition to his 17 points. Embiid’s rebounding numbers came in the form of Ilyasova who pulled down 14 to along with his 17 points.
Most impressively, the Sixers shot a rousing 22 of 29 (75.9 per cent) from behind the arc permitting them to come back from an early 35-29 deficit in the first quarter.
The Heat looked a bit out of place with centre Kelly Olynyk being the sole 20-point scorer. Coach Erik Spoelstra played double-double machine Hassan Whiteside just 12 minutes – something that will likely change Game 2.
If Miami wants to even up the series before returning home for Game 3, they must get more production from their guards and Whiteside. Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson and Whiteside – all of whom started – combined for a mere 30 points.
If Simmons and Covington can keep up their smothering defence which has defined Philadelphia for the entire 2017-2018 season, the Heat will find themselves in a dangerous hole.
With the home crowd and an impressive Game 1 showing, expect the 76ers to take this one – though not by the same massive margin.
Sixers by 12.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match from 10am (AEST).