The Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks series is already underway. In the other Eastern Conference semifinal matchup, we have Miami taking on Philadelphia. The Miami Heat easily took down the Atlanta Hawks in five games. Miami has been decimated with injuries with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry missing time. Despite injuries, the Miami defense frustrated Trae Young as the Hawks star only had one good game. Philadelphia started out with a 3-0 lead on Toronto, but the Raptors won the next two games. The 76ers eliminated the Raptors in six games to advance to the 2022 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Heat should enter this series healthy as Jimmy Butler will be available, but Lowry will miss the opener. On the other hand, Philadelphia was dealt a blow to their championship hopes. Joel Embiid suffered a concussion and a broken orbital towards to the end of Game 6.
Embiid is expected to miss at least two games, which will be played in Miami. Does the Sixers even have a shot at winning either game in Miami? James Harden will need to channel his days in Houston, but the Miami defense is one of the best. Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris are more than capable of getting streaky to put up some big numbers. Matisse Thybulle is an amazing defender who could give Jimmy Butler fits in this series. Can the 76ers get two good games out of DeAndre Jordan? Miami is one of the better defensive teams in the league and Philly will have their hands full. The Heat are notorious at finding your strengths and taking them away from you. Will they take away Harden and force the other guys to beat them? Can James Harden put this team on his back and upset the Heat?
Coming into this series without Embiid to start, many will have the Heat running through Philadelphia. I’m thinking that will not be the case and wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers win one game in Miami. If I had to guess, I’m in belief that Embiid will make his series debut in Game 3 in Philadelphia. Heading into Game 5, I’m thinking the series will be tied up with a crucial one in Miami. The Heat has too many weapons for the 76ers to contain and they will eventually figure it out. The Heat will finish this series in six games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami Win Series 4-2