The Philadelphia 76ers (8-4) are entering Thursday’s night contest against the Miami Heat looking for their second-straight victory. The undermanned Sixers defeated the Heat 137-134 in overtime, thanks to an impressive performance from center Joel Embiid. Embiid had a game-high 45 points (16-23 FG), 16 rebounds, five steals and four assists. He was one of six players, who reached double-figures.
The Sixers are hoping to get a couple players back before Thursday’s tip at 7:00 p.m. ET. As for Miami, they were down eight players because of health and safety protocols. Second-year guard Tyler Herro led the way with 34 points (12-26 FG, 3-9 3pt), seven rebounds, and four assists. Herro was one the five starters for Miami, who logged heavy minutes and were in double figures.
What can we expect from these two teams in the second game of this mini-series? And who will be step up once again to lift their team to victory? To answer those questions and more, here is our pick against the spread and a player prop you need to watch out for.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7:00 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Sixers -10
Between the two teams, it seems like the Sixers might be getting a few players back for tonight’s game. Danny Green said on Thursday that Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle were all back at shoot around. All three players have been out due to COVID-19 contact tracing and are listed as probable.
If the Sixers can get all three players back for Thursday night that will go a long way in determining the outcome. Let’s just say they get Tobias Harris back, it will give a much-needed scoring punch in the frontcourt that they have been missing.
Also, we cannot assume that Ben Simmons will only score five points, which he did on Tuesday night against Miami. If Simmons scores at least 10-15 points, the result might’ve been different.
Meanwhile, Miami will likely be rolling with the same eight players that they had on Tuesday night. This means they will need at least 20-30 points a piece from Herro and three-point specialist Duncan Robinson to keep this game close.
That being said, Herro and Robinson will get their points, but it hard to count on another 20-point performance from Gabe Vincent and double-double performance rookie big man Precious Achiuwa. I’ll take the Sixers and the points.
Player prop: Ben Simmons to record double-double (+132)
After a less than stellar performance on Tuesday and not being moved in the James Harden trade talks, Ben Simmons needs to be aggressive and have a breakout game tonight. The All-star point guard had five points, 12 assists, and six rebounds in the team’s three-point overtime win.
This season, the 25-year-old has had four games with a double-double. Simmons’s last double-double happened last week against the Wizards, where he had 17 points, 12 assists, and six rebounds. If Simmons comes out with an aggressive mindset and imposes his will on the Heat’s defense, then he should be able to get the double-double.
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