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Sixers tip off Christmas day matchup vs. Miami Heat

Happy Holidays from the Liberty Ballers crew!

Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Coming off a convincing victory against the Toronto Raptors, the Philadelphia 76ers will look for their third consecutive victory on the road against the Miami Heat. This will be the first of a four-game road trip.

The Miami Heat thus far have been sporadic this season, amassing a season record of 17-12 after a slow 1-4 start. Both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have missed their fair share of games, and it’s possible the Heat could be shorthanded against the Sixers. Butler is listed as questionable with a left calf strain, along with former Blue Coat Haywood Highsmith who is questionable with a non-COVID related illness. Josh Richardson is probable with back spasms.

The Heat currently rank middle of the pack in both offense and defense, with the 14th-best offense in the league and 13th-best defense. Meanwhile the Sixers’ net-rating has skyrocketed, as they rank top three in the league both categories.

With no Joel Embiid (more on that below), the Sixers will look towards Tyrese Maxey for a big time performance. How the Heat try to contain Maxey will be interesting to see. He has had massive success against Tyler Herro in the past, and it’s likely he’ll look to pick on him defensively yet again. It’s possible the Heat could try Caleb Martin or rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. on him to slow him down.

The Sixers’ injury report is somewhat lengthy heading into this game. The Sixers will be without Joel Embiid (ankle sprain) and Nico Batum (hamstring). Mo Bamba (illness) has been upgraded to probable, along with Robert Covington (right knee effusion). Both Patrick Beverley and De’Anthony Melton are no longer listed and should be avaliable.

Including tonight’s game, three of the Sixers’ next four games are somewhat challenging, as they’ll take on the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets (who are top-five defensively) after that. A ‘W’ tonight wouldn’t just make everybody’s Christmas, it would give them some margin for error if they flame out in any of the next few matchups.

Game Details

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

When: 8:00 pm EST

Where: Kaseya Center, Miami, FL

Watch: ESPN

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

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