The Miami Heat are currently the 1 seed in the east and the Philadelphia 76ers are the 2 seed. The 2 top teams in the East went against each other in Miami, in a battle for the East. The matchup favoured Miami heavily because James Harden was on the bench because he was managing his previous hamstring injury. This allowed Miami to double and triple-team Joel Embiid easily.
The Heat won the game 99-82 and delivered a beatdown to the 76ers. Embiid had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the only other 76ers in double digits were Tobias Harris (16 points and 8 rebounds) and Tyrese Maxey (17 points). The Heat was led by 21 point performances from Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro. Gabe Vincent had 16 points and Caleb Martin had 14 points to contribute as well. Bam Adebayo only had 6 points but had 10 rebounds in the game.
With the win, the Heat move further ahead of the 76ers and established themselves as the 1 seed. The 76ers get into a dangerous position of losing the 2 seed to the Bucks or the Bulls who are only 0.5 games behind them. The 76ers are going to play the Chicago Bulls day after tomorrow and will have to bring their A-game to maintain their top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The 76ers are going to play the Brooklyn Nets on March 11th. It is going to be one of the most exciting matchups this season before the playoffs. With the blockbuster James Harden trade, the 2 teams will battle on the court. Ben Simmons might not play in the game but Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will. The game will be amazing and the story will be right out of a movie.
The 76ers need a healthy James Harden to make it to the Eastern Conference finals. The East is too stacked for them to have a chance otherwise. A lot of concern surrounded Harden’s hamstring and with him sitting out this game there is cause for concern. All we can do is hope that everyone is healthy for the Playoffs and that we can witness one of the greatest postseasons in NBA history.