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From Joel Embiid’s injury to home-court advantage to a notable coaching edge, there are various reasons to favor the Miami Heat over the Philadelphia 76ers in this series. Voters seemingly gravitated toward some of those factors to prefer Miami in the matchup, with 86 percent of participants selecting the Heat to defeat the Sixers.
After a tightly contested first half, Miami cruised to a double-digit win in Game 1, thanks to a couple big runs. With both Embiid and Kyle Lowry sidelined, the Heat looked like the superior ball club. Of course, there’s a chance Embiid returns (as well as Lowry) and this series is far from being decided. But preferring Miami right now — or even before Game 1 kicked off — is totally understandable.