Miami Heat To Face Philadelphia 76ers On Road In Play-In Tournament

Apr 14, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA;  Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives under the basket - Jim Rassol/USA Today Sports
Apr 14, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives under the basket - Jim Rassol/USA Today Sports / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

If the Miami Heat are going to make a repeat appearance in the NBA Finals, they are going to have to get past reigning MVP Joel Embiid and the Philadephia 76ers.

The Heat took care of business by defeating the Toronto Raptors Sunday in the regular season finale, but did not receive the help needed to avoid the Play-In Tournament. The Sixers, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic all won to keep the Heat from moving up in the standings.

It means the Heat have an opportunity to defeat the Sixers to earn the No. 7 seed. That would give them a chance to play the second-seeded Milwaukee Bucks or New York Knicks.

Last year the Heat were able to withstand being in the Play-In Tournament. They managed to knock off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, the Knicks in the second round and the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. The Heat eventually lost to the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.

The positive for the Heat is they are getting healthy at the right time. Guard Tyler Herro, who missed most of last postseason because of a broken hand, is back in the lineup. Forward Jimmy Butler has also had time to rest during the season because of inuries.

Center Bam Adebayo has continued to improve while rookie Jaime Jaquez and second-year forward Nikola Jovic has developed into a solid first-round draft pick. If the Heat make the playoffs, it will give them another chance of facing the Celtics in the conference finals. They have met three times there since 2020.


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Shandel Richardson

SHANDEL RICHARDSON