After taking one on the road against the Miami Heat on Thursday, the Sixers look to pick up another win this afternoon in South Beach. On Thursday, the Heat attempted to beat the Sixers with physicality but, this time the Sixers had an answer for it. That answer came in the form of Justin Anderson — just kidding, it was our 7 foot center from Cameroon, Joel Embiid (nothing against Anderson, his physical style of defense and 3-point ability has definitely earned him minutes in this series). Embiid returned after recovering from a broken orbital bone and concussion, bringing with him 50 masks (apparently), 23 points, 3 blocks, and fire postgame quotes. He’s not here to make friends and he’s going to be a nightmare.
The Heat shot well from 3-point range in game 3, at a clip which seems unsustainable. On the season, the Heat shot 36% from beyond the arc but have been shooting 44% in this playoff series, second only to the Toronto Raptors’ 44.1%. The Sixers have also shown a vast improvement in their 3-point shooting percentage but, before the playoffs started, they were steadily shooting better from 3. From the start of February to the end of the regular season, the Sixers shot threes at 38.1%, while the Heat’s percentage was consistent with their average on the season. The Sixers were rolling coming into the post-season so their improved 3-point performance seems to be attributable to their momentum, instead of an anomaly as it does with the Heat.
If today is the day when the Heat’s shooting finally returns to Earth, expect the game to get even more physical than the past two have been - that is the only way the Heat can handle this talented Philadelphia team. I’ll set the over/under on technicals at 3.
Game Time: 2:30 pm
TV: NBCSports Philadelphia & TNT
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic