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NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Report: Sixers F Danny Green has torn ACL

May 13, 2022, 7:42 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers forward Danny Green sustained a torn left ACL during Thursday's season-ending loss to the Miami Heat, The Athletic reported Friday.

Green, who turns 35 next month, had to be carried to the locker room after a first-quarter collision with teammate Joel Embiid.

Green finished with three points and one steal in three minutes. Philadelphia lost the game, 99-90, and the series, 4-2, as top-seeded Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.

Green averaged 5.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 21.8 minutes in 62 games (28 starts) in 2021-22, his second season in Philadelphia and 13th season in the NBA.

The three-time NBA champion has career averages of 8.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 819 games (709 starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-10), San Antonio Spurs (2010-18), Toronto Raptors (2018-19), Los Angeles Lakers (2019-20) and the 76ers. He is a 39.9-percent shooter from 3-point range for his career.

Green signed a two-year, $20 million contract with the Sixers in May 2021. The second season of that contract in 2022-23 is non-guaranteed.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Sixers GM: Doc Rivers to return as coach next season

May 13, 2022, 7:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Doc Rivers will return as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers next season, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said Friday.

The confirmation came one day after the Sixers' season ended with a Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In his second season with Philadelphia, Rivers guided the team to a 51-31 record in the regular season and the No. 4 seed in the East. The 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

Rivers, who is signed through the 2024-25 season, said he wasn't concerned about his job security following Thursday night's season-ending 99-90 loss.

"I don't worry about my job. I think I do a terrific job. If you don't, then you should write it," Rivers said. "Because I worked my butt off to get this team here. When I first got here, no one picked us to be anywhere. Again this year, the same thing. If that's how anyone feels, write it. I'm going to feel secure about it."

Rivers, 60, is 100-54 with the Sixers and 1,043-735 during a 23-year coaching career with the Orlando Magic (1999-2004), Boston Celtics (2004-13), Los Angeles Clippers (2013-20) and Philadelphia. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1999-2000 and won an NBA championship with Boston in 2007-08.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

76ers favored to force Game 7 with Heat

May 12, 2022, 6:17 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid was a Most Valuable Player candidate all season.

But Jimmy Butler has arguably been the best player in the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Butler scored 23 points and was able to rest down the stretch as the Miami Heat throttled the Sixers 120-85 in Game 5 on Tuesday.

Butler will now look to lead the Heat into the Eastern Conference finals with a victory at Philadelphia Thursday in Game 6.

Philadelphia is a slight favorite at most sportsbooks. That includes BetMGM, where Miami has drawn 52 percent of the spread bets and 54 percent of the handle as a 2.5-point underdog.

The action has been split on the 2.0-point line at DraftKings with the 76ers backed by only 34 percent of the bets but drawing 85 percent of the handle by mid-day Thursday.

The balanced Heat feature a number of stellar players including Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

Butler, however, is their unquestioned leader.

"He's a great competitor at his core," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Butler. "When you get into a competition, he understands the full deal -- that you have to do it on both ends. And he's able to compete with a ferocity and an incredibly stable mind. That is really unique.

"When it gets the craziest is when he's really locked in on making sure that it's solid winning basketball for our team."

After taking a 2-0 series lead, the Heat dropped both games in Philadelphia. While they still own homecourt advantage, the goal is to capture a much-needed road victory in a hostile environment.

"We're capable of it, if we get some stops," Butler said. "It's a hard place to play."

"It's just one game," Spoelstra added. "They know it. We know it."

Miami's Kyle Lowry will miss Game 6 due to a strained left hamstring. Lowry aggravated the hamstring during the first half of Game 4 and again in the second half. Lowry sat out Game 5.

The Sixers hope to avoid being eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fourth time in the past five years.

Philadelphia hasn't advanced to the Eastern Conference finals since 2001 when it defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games.

If the Sixers are able to force a Game 7, they'll need more production from Embiid, who had 17 points and only five rebounds in Game 5.

Embiid, who's playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb and a face mask to protect an orbital fracture, looked tentative. He also appeared to tweak his back.

"This is a ‘lose-lose' situation for me," Embiid said. "If I don't play, I probably get called soft and if I play and I play bad, they probably come up with a bunch of stuff that I guess he's just not good enough. It's all about staying -- not get too high or too low and just going out there and really try to dig very deep and try to do whatever I can."

Yet the reason the Sixers are now trailing is simple if you ask Embiid.

"Defense. We didn't play defense," he said. "We weren't physical enough. We weren't locked in from the beginning and they took advantage of it."

The Sixers also didn't receive an All-Star performance from James Harden, who shined in Game 4 with 31 points. In Game 5, Harden managed only 14 points in 37 minutes.

"They got 31 points in that first quarter. We were not engaged defensively and that slowed down our offense," Harden said. "We have to be engaged. We got to be locked in."

The Over on 207.0 points has seen lopsided action at DraftKings with 71 percent of the bets and 80 percent of the handle. The 207.5-point total at BetMGM has seen split action with 52 percent of the bets backing the Over while 82 percent of the handle has been placed on the Under.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Heat PG Kyle Lowry out for Game 6

May 11, 2022, 7:24 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry is out for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series at Philadelphia on Thursday.

Miami leads the series 3-2 and can close out the best-of-seven set with the 76ers with another win.

Lowry plans to travel with the team but his ailing hamstring could be a factor beyond this week.

He's not the only player hurting for the Heat.

Miami's initial Game 6 injury report includes forwards Caleb Martin (ankle), P.J. Tucker (calf) and Max Strus (hamstring) along with backup point guard Gabe Vincent (knee) and NBA Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro (ankle). All are listed as questionable but expected to play.

Lowry missed the first two games of the series and returned for games 3 and 4, but shot 3 of 14 in a total of 55 minutes with six points and five turnovers.

He averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 assists during the regular season, his first with the Heat.

If necessary, Game 7 would be played in Miami on Sunday.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Heat favored at home in critical Game 5 vs. 76ers

May 10, 2022, 6:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the mania about Joel Embiid's dramatic, successful return in consecutive wins over the Miami Heat is that the Philadelphia 76ers have a former Most Valuable Player who played like it Sunday night.

After going scoreless and picking up two first quarter fouls, James Harden reminded everyone why he's just four years removed from an MVP. He finished with 31 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, of a 116-108 victory in Game 4. He added nine assists and seven rebounds.

Harden, Embiid and Philadelphia will try to take a 3-2 lead on Tuesday night in Miami when the Eastern Conference semifinal series resumes.

The 76ers are 3.5-point underdogs on the road at BetMGM, where the action has been fairly event with Miami backed by 51 percent of the spread bets but Philadelphia drawing 53 percent of the handle. The line is 3.0 at DraftKings, with the Heat supported by 46 percent of the bets and 64 percent of the handle.

Prior to Sunday night, Harden hadn't scored more than 22 points in any of the 76ers' nine playoff games. It certainly didn't look like he would go on a tear when he joined teammate Tobias Harris in early foul trouble. But Harden delivered the kind of performance over the final three quarters one would expect from a former MVP.

His fourth quarter explosion included his trademark stepback 3-pointer from the top of the key that gave Philadelphia an insurmountable 114-103 lead with 1:07 remaining.

"We're getting more confident as the series goes on," Harden said. "Those first two games (were) a blur. But obviously, having Joel and having our full team, we kind of know what to expect. We know where to execute on both sides of the ball.

"It just makes the job a lot easier. Think about: We're still a fairly new team. We're damn near two months. So, when we finally catch a rhythm and finally find something that works, Joel goes off for a couple of games. So, we're finally settling into the series."

Not only Harden, but this year's MVP finalist and league scoring champion, too.

Embiid contributed 24 points and 11 rebounds in his second game back from a fractured orbital bone and concussion. All five starters finished in double figures as the 76ers drained 16 of 33 3-pointers.

Meanwhile, the Heat are looking for the scoring balance that marked their two double-figure home wins in Miami. Jimmy Butler tried his best to carry the team with 33 and 40 points in the losses in Philadelphia but got precious little help.

Bam Adebayo was a non-entity in Game 3, although he did chip in 21 points on Sunday night. Tyler Herro helped some off the bench but wasn't efficient. And Kyle Lowry's left hamstring issue has flared up again, with the Heat ruling him out for Game 5 after he struggled (six points on 3-of-14 shooting) in Games 3 and 4.

There's also the matter of Miami going cold from distance. In light of the 76ers' work from 3-point range Sunday night, the Heat's 7-of-35 marksmanship from the arc looks even worse.

"I thought we had some really good looks. We just missed them," coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Miami has something else to worry about. Reserve center Dewayne Dedmon sat out Game 4 with an illness and his status for Game 5 isn't known. Dedmon's presence would at least give the team six more fouls to use against Embiid.

The relatively low 209.0-point Over/Under at DraftKings has led to 71 percent of the handle backing the Over. The same market opened at 210.5 points at BetMGM but moved to 209.5 with the Over slightly favored with 51 percent of the handle.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Heat G Kyle Lowry (hamstring) out for Game 5

May 10, 2022, 3:52 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry's balky left hamstring will keep him on the sidelines for Tuesday night's critical Game 5 against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.

The best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series is tied at 2-2.

Lowry, 36, sustained the injury during the top-seeded Heat's first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, missing the last two games of that series and the first two games against the Sixers -- all Miami wins.

The six-time All-Star started both losses at Philadelphia in Games 3 and 4, accumulating a combined six points on 3-of-14 shooting (0 of 8 from 3-point range) with 10 assists, seven rebounds, three steals and five turnovers.

Lowry averaged 13.4 points, 7.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 63 starts during the regular season, his first with Miami and 16th in the NBA.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Sixers fined $50K for injury reporting on Joel Embiid

May 8, 2022, 12:31 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The NBA fined the Philadelphia 76ers $50,000 on Saturday for violating league injury reporting rules on the return of Joel Embiid.

According to the NBA, the Sixers failed to disclose Embiid's participation status in an accurate and timely manner prior to Friday night's Game 3 of their conference semifinal playoff series against the Miami Heat.

Embiid missed both opening games in Miami after suffering a fractured orbital bone in Philadelphia's clinching victory over Toronto in the first round.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

76ers home underdogs in Game 3 minus Joel Embiid

May 6, 2022, 5:59 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The 76ers are back home and desperate for a turnaround in Philadelphia. Any rally from a 2-0 series deficit might have to happen without MVP candidate Joel Embiid.

With the Miami Heat in control of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals, Philadelphia on Thursday officially ruled out Embiid with myriad battle wounds from the 76ers' first-round series win over Toronto.

On Friday, the 76ers announced that Embiid had cleared concussion protocol and participated in the team's morning shootaround.

However, Embiid remains listed as out and he still has what coach Doc Rivers called "hurdles to clear" -- including an orbital fracture and torn thumb ligament -- but his status could change before tip-off Friday night.

Miami won't be caught off guard if the Philadelphia star returns after missing the first two games of the series.

"They're coming home. Obviously, they are in an 0-2 hole, so I do expect him to play," Heat forward Bam Adebayo said before the injury report was released.

The 76ers opened as 1.5-point underdogs at DraftKings and BetMGM. The Embiid injury news drove a shift to a 3.5-point spread at BetMGM, where Philadelphia had been backed by just 23 percent of the bets and 22 percent of the handle as of Friday morning.

Embiid's return, even at less than full strength, might put a spring in Philly's step. His continued absence, however, would put the onus on the rest of the supporting cast to play a starring role without the All-Star in the middle.

"How much attention he's gonna draw from everybody when he's on the floor whether he's on the perimeter, at the elbow, on the block," Heat forward Jimmy Butler said. "What he does defensively for those guys is pretty incredible, too. I'm not a statistics guy or analytics, but I can tell you, whenever he's on the floor, they are a much better team. I want him to get right because we want to play against who I call the MVP."

Shooting has been dismal for the Sixers in the series, but Rivers said shot selection and his perspective that good shots are available are selling points to motivate Philadelphia for Friday's pivotal game. Philadelphia made just 21.9 percent (14 of 64) from 3-point range in the first two games of this series.

Embiid has done only light workouts since sustaining his head injuries April 28 at Toronto. He led the NBA in scoring (30.6). He also averaged 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

There could be a shift in the rotation on Friday, but Rivers likely can't avoid playing DeAndre Jordan big minutes against Adebayo. Jordan has a plus-minus of -22 in the series.

Home court could be a benefit to the Sixers. Philadelphia went 24-17 at home this season, which is identical to Miami's road record.

The Sixers shot 36.4 percent from 3-point range in the regular season, relying on players such as Tyrese Maxey (42.7 percent); Georges Niang (40.3); Seth Curry (40.0); Embiid (37.1); and Tobias Harris (36.7).

Niang went 0-for-7 from distance in Game 1 and fouling out in just 10 minutes and five points in Game 2.

Here's the 3-point shooting in this series from other struggling Sixers: Danny Green 2-for-14; Maxey 2-for-10; James Harden 3-for-12; and Harris 3-for-9.

"We've got to make shots," said Harden, who is averaging 18.0 points in the series. "It's simple."

Maxey is averaging a team-high 26.5 points in this series, and Harris is averaging 23.0 points.

"We've got to go back to the drawing board," Maxey said. "We have to figure it out."

The Heat have never lost a playoff series after taking a 2-0 lead, going 18-0, while the Sixers are 0-19 after going down 2-0.

History aside, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wants to guard against overconfidence.

"It's never easy to get playoff wins," he said.

Butler and Adebayo are playing well with the staring unit and Tyler Herro remains the one player Rivers said he doesn't want the 76ers to leave alone.

Adebayo is averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds against Embiid's fill-ins. Herro is averaging 21.5 points, and Butler has been an all-around force with 18.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and a team-high 7.5 assists in building the 2-0 lead.

Miami is playing without starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who is questionable due to a strained hamstring. Lowry is lobbying to return on Friday, but Spoelstra said the team is being cautious.

"We're not basing our decisions on whether we are winning or losing," Spoelstra said. "It's about what we think is best."

The Heat also listed Herro and defensive stopper P.J. Tucker (calf) as questionable. Both played in Game 2 and Tucker, part of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks last season, made it sound like he's not sitting.

"It's about who's built for this," Tucker said of the playoff injury report earlier this week. "Who's going to put the mask on, knee sleeve on, and icy hot and going to give you what I got."

The 210.5-point Over/Under at BetMGM has held steady since the market opened, with the Over drawing 56 percent of the bets and but Under backed by 65 percent of the handle. The same point total at DraftKings had seen the Over supported by 78 and 75 percent, respectively.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Sixers C Joel Embiid clears concussion protocol

May 6, 2022, 4:05 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers announced that center Joel Embiid cleared concussion protocol and participated in Friday's shootaround.

He is still officially listed as out for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat on Friday night in Philadelphia, but his status could be upgraded. The Sixers trail 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.

Embiid, who did not travel to Miami for the first two games, is still dealing with a fractured right orbital bone and a torn ligament in his right thumb.

Embiid's head injuries resulted from a play with 3:58 left in the 76ers' clinching Game 6 victory against the Toronto Raptors on April 28. Philadelphia led 119-90 when Toronto's Pascal Siakam caught Embiid in the face with an elbow on a drive to the basket.

A five-time All-Star, Embiid won the NBA scoring title this season with 30.6 points to go with 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He averaged 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds in the first-round series against Toronto.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors

Hurting 76ers' Joel Embiid has 'hurdles to clear' to return for Game 3

May 5, 2022, 7:44 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

76ers center Joel Embiid made progress but his status for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Friday is to be determined, Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said Thursday.

Embiid must clear concussion protocol and awaits full medical clearance to play with a fractured right orbital bone. Rivers said Embiid remains in the NBA's concussion protocol and has "hurdles to clear" before he gets the green light to join the 76ers on the court. That doesn't even call into question the health of Embiid's hand. He finished the first-round series against Toronto with a torn ligament in his thumb.

Miami took a 2-0 series lead, but Heat guard Jimmy Butler said his team wants Embiid in the lineup.

"I want to compete against him. I really do," Butler said Thursday, adding he expects Embiid to play the rest of the series. "I think they are a completely different team whenever he is out there both offensively and defensively, and so we're looking forward to that."

Rivers said the team is positive entering Game 3 with or without Embiid after a team film session highlighting the good looks at the basket that just didn't go in at Miami. Embiid, Rivers said, should be able to hit the ground running when he is available.

"This is the playoffs, you don't get time like in the regular season to come back and work out with staff and stuff for three or four days. Unfortunately, that's not how the playoffs are built," Rivers said. "When guys go down in the playoffs, they often have to come back with no work. That makes it very difficult for them when they come back. That doesn't necessarily mean they're going to play great, or sometimes they do, you just don't know."

Embiid's head injuries resulted from a play with 3:58 left in the Sixers' clinching Game 6 against the Raptors on April 28. Philadelphia led 119-90 when Toronto's Pascal Siakam caught Embiid in the face with an elbow on a drive to the basket.

A five-time All-Star, Embiid has experienced a similar facial injury. In 2018, he fractured his left orbital bone and was sidelined for three weeks before returning to action in the playoffs, wearing a facemask.

Rivers emphasized Thursday that a win for Philadelphia on Friday brings the series as close as it could possibly be after three games. Erik Spoelstra said the Heat have to prepare as if Embiid is coming back.

"It changes dramatically. You're talking about MVP talent," Spoelstra said. "So we'll just have to see. We knew this series was going to shift and it's going to change pretty dramatically. It's better for it to change dramatically when we're able to get a couple wins, but yeah, he changes the equation quite a bit -- you have to plan for it."

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

Heat big favorites to stake 2-0 series lead vs. 76ers

May 4, 2022, 6:58 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers will look for a stronger performance on the glass without Joel Embiid on Wednesday when they visit the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Philadelphia was outrebounded by a 47-37 margin -- including 15-9 on the offensive glass -- in its 106-92 setback in the series opener Monday. The 76ers also shot themselves in the foot by making just 17.6 percent of their attempts from 3-point range (6 of 34).

"Very similar to the (first-round series against) Toronto, in that we told our guys they can't have more rebounds than us, they can't force turnovers because they can't have more shots than us," Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said.

"We're working with a small margin for error, so we can't give a team 13 extra shots on the road without Joel and think we're going to win a game."

Embiid had been ruled out for Wednesday's contest prior to the series opener due to an orbital fracture and concussion sustained in Game 6 in the opening round against the Toronto Raptors. The five-time All-Star also is nursing a torn ligament in his right thumb.

"Two things that we've been preaching, even from last series," teammate James Harden said. "... Things that we can control are rebounding the basketball and not turning the basketball over. (Those are) things that we can control, and once we do that next game, we'll have a better chance of winning."

The 76ers are 8.5-point underdogs at BetMGM, where the Heat have drawn 60 percent of the spread bets and 66 percent of the handle. The 8.0-point line at DraftKings has seen Miami backed by 66 and 68 percent, respectively.

Harden is being looked upon to provide more offensive punch in the absence of Embiid, the NBA's regular-season leading scorer. Harden had 16 points, a team high-tying nine rebounds and five assists, however the former league MVP also made just 5 of 13 shots and committed five turnovers.

All-Star Bam Adebayo made his presence felt on the interior for the Heat in the absence of Embiid. Adebayo sank 8 of 10 shot attempts in the opener to finish with 24 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block.

"Both ends of the court. His relentlessness, that effort," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said of Adebayo, who averaged just 12.4 points in the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

DeAndre Jordan finished minus-22 in just 17 minutes after being inserted into the starting lineup in place of Embiid. Paul Reed came off the bench and showed flashes before being hampered by foul trouble.

Miami's Tyler Herro worked the exterior to the tune of sinking 4 of 6 shots from 3-point range to highlight his 25-point performance. Herro, in fact, outscored Philadelphia's bench, which finished with 21 points and made just 1 of 12 attempts from 3-point range.

"Just kick in on it," Herro said. "We won the first series as we should have. Now we keep moving on and taking care of business."

Jimmy Butler collected 15 points and nine rebounds in his return from a one-game absence due to a knee injury.

Miami once again will be without Kyle Lowry due to a strained hamstring. The six-time All-Star has not played since Game 3 of the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks on April 22.

Sportsbooks are expecting a fairly low-scoring game, with a 207.5-point Over/Under being offered by BetMGM and DraftKings.

The Over is slightly favored with 51 percent of the handle at the former and a bit more popular with 63 percent at the latter.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

Heat G Tyler Herro wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year

May 3, 2022, 10:59 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro won the 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, the league announced Tuesday.

Herro won 96 of the 100 available first-place votes for 488 total points from a voting panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love (three first-place votes, 214 points) finished second in voting and Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson (one first-place vote, 128 points) was third.

In his third NBA season, Herro averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game with 39.9 percent shooting from 3-point range for Miami, which earned the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Herro comes off the bench but plays starters' minutes. He averaged 32.6 minutes per game in 66 appearances but started just 10 games.

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson, who won the award in 2021, finished fourth in voting this season.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks

Heat G Kyle Lowry (hamstring) ruled out for Game 2

May 3, 2022, 6:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry will not play in Game 2 on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers due to a lingering hamstring injury.

The six-time All-Star has not played since April 22 when he suffered the injury in Game 3 of Miami's first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

The top-seeded Heat defeated the visiting Sixers 106-92 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday.

The Heat also announced Tuesday that forwards Jimmy Butler (knee) and Markieff Morris (illness) have been removed from the injury report, although Butler missed Tuesday's practice with an excused absence.

Five Miami players are listed as questionable for Game 2: sixth man Tyler Herro (ankle), forwards P.J. Tucker (calf), Max Strus (hamstring) and Caleb Martin (ankle), and guard Gabe Vincent (knee).

--Field Level Media

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers

76ers big Game 1 underdogs at Heat minus Joel Embiid

May 2, 2022, 7:23 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

While the Miami Heat's star player is expected to play, the same can't be said for the Philadelphia 76ers' franchise cornerstone.

Jimmy Butler (knee), who missed Game 5 of the Heat's first-round series win against the Atlanta Hawks, will likely return at home to face the Sixers on Monday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Tyler Herro (non-COVID illness) is also expected back while Kyle Lowry (hamstring) has been ruled out for the top-seeded Heat.

Philadelphia's Joel Embiid is dealing with a bevy of injuries including a torn ligament in his right thumb, a concussion and an orbital fracture from when Toronto's Pascal Siakam elbowed him late in Game 6 with the Sixers up by 29 points.

Butler, a former Sixer, believes that he'll be 100 percent to open this tough series.

"It's all right," Butler said, referring to his knee. "We (had) another day in between. More treatment. Get out there, rip and run. And I know it'll be ready to hold up come Monday. But the time off has been great for myself and so many other guys that are nicked up."

No matter who's available, the Heat are preparing for a battle. It's the only way they know.

"I think both rosters are going into this knowing both sides have enough to get the job done," Butler said. "We've got a job to do. They've got a job to do. I'm banking on the Miami Heat."

Said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra: "We are who we are. We're not a passive defensive team. If you want to be aggressive, you have to be exceptionally detailed, disciplined, focused. We have deep respect for them with the names they have available."

The fourth-seeded Sixers haven't advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2001 and last won a championship in 1983.

Philadelphia has been eliminated in the conference semifinals in three of the last four years.

While Embiid could return for Game 3 in this series, it's clearly going to be a daunting challenge to start without him on the road.

A consensus 7.5-point underdog entering Game 1, the 76ers have been backed by 44 percent of the spread handle at DraftKings and 48 percent at BetMGM.

However, their +280 moneyline at DraftKings has drawn only 19 percent of the total bets and handle. Offered at a +260 moneyline at BetMGM, Philadelphia has been backed by 35 percent of the handle.

"I'm going to the game thinking it's a fight," Philadelphia's Georges Niang said. "If I'm going into a fight, I'd rather hit than be hit. So I'm not going in thinking it's going to be any less physical. ... I'm going in thinking it's going to be a brawl. Once you get closer and closer to the championship, that's really what it comes down to."

The Sixers will counter with a combination of DeAndre Jordan, Paul Reed and Charles Bassey. This trio of reserves won't come close to matching Embiid's Most Valuable Player-caliber production, but it's their cruel reality.

"We're gonna need added efforts from different guys with different opportunities," Tobias Harris said. "Overall, we kind of know from the last series what worked for us. We have to move the basketball and just whatever happens, go from there. Guys have to be properly spaced and being prepared and ready."

The Sixers went 6-8 without Embiid during the regular season.

"We almost won the game in Golden State without Joel so it's possible," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. "We just have to focus on the two games in Miami and see what happens."

The two teams split four meetings during the regular season.

The 208.5-point Over/Under at BetMGM is a shift after opening at 210.5 points. The Over has drawn 58 percent of the bets and 55 percent of the handle.

--Field Level Media

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat

Heat's Jimmy Butler questionable, Kyle Lowry out for Game 1

May 1, 2022, 4:54 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler is questionable to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the visiting Philadelphia 76ers because of right knee inflammation, the team said Sunday.

Butler wasn't alone in being listed as questionable for Monday's series opener, however. The top-seeded Heat also listed guards Max Strus (hamstring) and Tyler Herro (respiratory illness) and forwards P.J. Tucker (calf), Caleb Martin (ankle) and Markieff Morris (non-COVID illness) with that status.

Guard Kyle Lowry, however, has been ruled out for Game 1 with a hamstring injury.

Butler, 32, sat out Miami's first-round series-clinching win over the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 on Tuesday.

A six-time All-Star, Butler averaged 30.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the series against Atlanta.

Lowry, 36, averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 assists in three games versus the Hawks.

--Field Level Media