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Sixers face off with Miami Heat for first time this season

Philadelphia can take advantage of a struggling Heat team twice this week.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have an opportunity to bounce back after a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Boston Celtics on Saturday night when they face off against the Miami Heat on Monday night.

This is the first leg of a home-and-home between the Sixers and the Heat, meeting for the first times this season. The last time these teams met, way back in May 2022, Miami eliminated the Sixers from the playoffs in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Sixers look well on their way back to the playoffs, but there’s a bit more question around the Heat this season. Miami hasn’t won a game since Feb. 11, before the All-Star break, suffering four consecutive defeats since then. The team is now 32-29 and currently sit seventh in the East.

The Heat are led by Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro. In their most recent loss, falling 108-103 to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, Herro contributed 33 points with six three-pointers, followed by Butler with 28 points. With the Sixers coming off a game where they let Al Horford sink four open threes, Philadelphia will have to manage their perimeter defense much better this time around to stop Herro from long range.

Speaking of Herro, the 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year was added to the injury report for the Heat, listed as questionable for Monday’s contest with a rib contusion. Also notably on the Heat’s injury report remains Kyle Lowry, who hasn’t played since Feb. 2 against the New York Knicks with knee soreness.

The Sixers continue to look healthy for the most part, with just newcomer Dewayne Dedmon remaining on the injury report with lingering left hip soreness.

The Heat are 26th in offensive rating (110.6) but are putting up decent defense with a rating of 111.2, fifth in the league. The Sixers are eighth in offensive rating (115.5) and seventh defensively (111.6).

The struggling Heat are a team the Sixers should be able to take advantage of and snag two quick wins from this week, especially if Herro doesn’t suit up. A couple of victories might certainly help numb the sting of the morale-crushing loss to the Celtics Saturday night. That being said, this is the first time these teams are meeting this season, and it is the Sixers, so expect the unexpected as always.

Game Details

Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat

When: 7:00 pm EST, Monday, Feb. 27

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic

Follow: @LibertyBallers

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