76ers center Joel Embiid listed as ‘doubtful’ for Game 3 vs. Heat

MIAMI — If Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown knew if star big man Joel Embiid would get on the court for Thursday’s Game 3 against the Miami Heat, he didn’t let it slip before practice Wednesday.

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid wears mask while warming up for the team’s NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Continue reading “76ers center Joel Embiid listed as ‘doubtful’ for Game 3 vs. Heat”

Erik Spoelstra makes it clear Heat’s rebounding must improve vs. Sixers: ‘They’re burying us’

Miami Heat’s Bam Adebayo, left, shoot as Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, right, watches during the second half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 130-103. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

MIAMI — Not all of the talk after Wednesday’s practice was about what the Heat did right in their Game 2 win. Some of it was on what they did wrong.

“They’re burying us, they’re absolutely burying us on the glass,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked about Philadelphia’s second-chance points. “They’re burying us, that has to change.” Continue reading “Erik Spoelstra makes it clear Heat’s rebounding must improve vs. Sixers: ‘They’re burying us’”

Joel Embiid says he’s ‘sick and tired of being babied’ after sitting out Game 2 loss to Heat

Joel Embiid. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

If it’s up to Joel Embiid, he will make his return from injury in Thursday’s Game 3.

The Sixers’ All-Star center has already missed the final eight games of the regular season and the first two games of the playoffs as he continues to recover from surgery to repair an orbital bone fracture. But after the Heat tied the first-round series 1-1 and stole home-court advantage with a 113-103 win in Monday’s Game 2, the 24-year-old Embiid turned to social media to express his frustration with the situation. Continue reading “Joel Embiid says he’s ‘sick and tired of being babied’ after sitting out Game 2 loss to Heat”

Heat will have another chance to face Joel Embiid-less Sixers. Embiid ruled out for Game 2

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers puts his protective face mask prior to Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoff against the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Heat will have another chance to face the Joel Embiid-less Sixers.

Embiid has been ruled out for Monday’s Game 2 as he continues to recover from surgery to repair an orbital bone fracture. But the Sixers also announced Sunday that their starting center did clear the NBA’s concussion protocol, which is a sign that he’s close to making a return. Continue reading “Heat will have another chance to face Joel Embiid-less Sixers. Embiid ruled out for Game 2”

Heat ‘don’t mind’ taking on underdog role in playoff series vs. Sixers: ‘We’ve been underdogs the last two years’

The Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic (7) takes the ball between the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) and Robert Covington (33) in the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. The Heat won, 102-101. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — There wasn’t much separating the Heat and Sixers in the regular season.

In 192 minutes, Miami outscored Philadelphia by two points over four matchups this year. The Heat and Sixers split their season series 2-2 and each game was decided by single digits, including a one-point Miami win and a two-point Philadelphia win. Continue reading “Heat ‘don’t mind’ taking on underdog role in playoff series vs. Sixers: ‘We’ve been underdogs the last two years’”

Sixers coach Brett Brown says Joel Embiid will not play in Game 1 vs. Heat

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid wears mask while warming up for the team’s NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

MIAMI — The Sixers will start the playoffs Saturday night without starting center Joel Embiid.

“[Embiid] will not play in Game 1,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning. “He will not play in Game 1 and from that point going forward, we’ll figure some stuff out. Unless something remarkable happens, Dan, I don’t plan on him playing in Game 1.” Continue reading “Sixers coach Brett Brown says Joel Embiid will not play in Game 1 vs. Heat”

If the regular season is any indication, the Heat-76ers playoff series will be close … very close

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade celebrates with the crowd after scoring the winning basket in the final seconds against the Philadelphia 76ers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — Sometimes the best way to predict the future is to study the past.

What’s going to happen in this first-round playoff series between the Heat and 76ers? Let’s look at what happened in the regular season when the two teams faced off. Continue reading “If the regular season is any indication, the Heat-76ers playoff series will be close … very close”

2018 NBA Playoffs: A closer look at the first-round matchup between the Heat and 76ers. Which team has the edge?

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons, center, drives as Miami Heat’s James Johnson, left and Goran Dragic (7) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 8, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — The Miami Heat’s scouting department spent the last week preparing for four possible first-round playoff opponents. But on Wednesday night, the Heat learned they will open the postseason with a series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Game 1 is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. in Philadelphia. (Click here for full schedule)

The Heat and 76ers split their season series 2-2, with each team winning both of their home games.

Here’s a deeper look at the matchup … Continue reading “2018 NBA Playoffs: A closer look at the first-round matchup between the Heat and 76ers. Which team has the edge?”

2018 NBA playoffs: Here’s the schedule for the Heat-76ers first-round series

Miami Heat’s Wayne Ellington (2) is seen during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 104-102. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

MIAMI — After Wednesday night’s overtime win over the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat learned their first-round playoff opponent will be the Philadelphia 76ers.

And early Thursday morning when the NBA announced the first-round schedule for the 2018 NBA playoffs, the Heat learned their series against the 76ers will begin Saturday at 8 p.m. in Philadelphia.

Here is the full series schedule:

Game 1: at Philadelphia, Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN and Fox Sports Sun
Game 2: at Philadelphia, Monday, 8 p.m., TNT and Fox Sports Sun
Game 3: at Miami, April 19, 7 p.m., TNT and Fox Sports Sun
Game 4: at Miami, April 21, 2:30 p.m., TNT and Fox Sports Sun
Game 5*: at Philadelphia, April 24, time TBD, network TBD
Game 6*: at Miami, April 26, time TBD, network TBD
Game 7*: at Philadelphia, April 28, time TBD, TNT and Fox Sports Sun
* – if necessary

The soonest a potential second-round series against Boston or Milwaukee could start is April 28.

[Heat awards: We agree Dragic is the MVP, but who’s been the biggest surprise? Which Wade moment will you remember most?]

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Hassan Whiteside on Joel Embiid: ‘Another dude. He just talks more’

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid drives past Miami’s Hassan Whiteside during the second half of the Heat’s victory Thursday in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI – Hassan Whiteside is done talking. At least with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.

“I’m not talking no more, no more talking,” Whiteside said after being asked of the latest altercation between the two. “No more talking. 2018, when he talks, no more.”

Whiteside said Embiid is “just another dude. He just talks more.”

The bad blood between the two centers spilled during the Heat’s 108-99 victory over the Sixers on Thursday as their teams faced each other for the fourth time in five weeks.

Embiid, the Sixers rising All-Star center, accused the Heat center of a “dirty” play when Whiteside threw a forearm at Embiid’s back as the two got tangled running up the floor. After review, Embiid was assessed a personal foul while Whiteside was slapped with a technical.

“He tried to hit me in the back, which is kind of dirty because of the fact that I’ve had back problems,” Embiid said before issuing a warning.

“We’re going to see about that. I won’t forget about that.”

Whiteside saw it differently.

“I was falling forward, he tried to throw an elbow,” he said. “I put my hand up and my hand hit my face.”

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra thought the play warranted a double foul.

“They got tangled up, Embiid grabbed Hassan and Hassan is actually the one that yanked his arm and hit himself,” Spoelstra said. “He gave himself a flagrant foul.”

Embiid, who is having an All-NBA season, was outplayed by Whiteside for the first time in their head-to-head meetings this season. Whiteside led the Heat with 26 points and eight rebounds, making 9-of-12 shots. Embiid was just 5-of-18 from floor while scoring 17 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

In three head-to-head meetings Embiid is averaging 19.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, Whiteside is averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. The teams split the four-game season series but the Heat won 2-of-3 in which both centers played.

“I love the Hassan Whiteside we saw last night out there competing, fierce, playing to an empty tank,” Spoelstra said. “Those were 28 full minutes. I don’t know if he could have played over 30 minutes at the intensity he was playing last night

“He has been putting in a lot of time. It’s about his approach, his behavior, his habits every single day. Eventually you get the results you’re looking for. I’m really encouraged with the way he’s been going in that direction. The competition level was high and fierce. I like that guy.

Charles Barkley, the TNT analyst, said on ‘Inside the NBA’ that Whiteside kicked Embiid’s “ass.”

Embiid believed he should not have even been assessed a personal foul on the play. It was his fourth and he came out of the game.

“I didn’t think I touched him,” Embiid said. “But then they called a technical foul on him because obviously he’s the one that made a dirty play.”

Embiid then got personal, as he has in the past.

“He hits really soft, so I didn’t feel anything,” Embiid said. “But just the action of him trying to do that I think is pretty messed up. I don’t care what we have outside of basketball but at the same time, you’ve got to respect the rules of basketball and play basketball and have fun doing it. But I’m not worried about it. We lost the game. Right now I’m worried about are we going to get better.”

The two centers got into a Twitter beef during the preseason when less than three minutes into the game in Kansas City, Whiteside fouled Embiid who then gestured that the Heat should remove Whiteside from the game.

Whiteside didn’t appreciate the video being posted on social media and responded by saying: “Funny how ya’ll don’t show me telling him the same and 1-7 shooting or the first 2 flops I mean blocks.”

Embiid shot back: “Dude they had to take your ass out or you would’ve fouled out in 5 min… And we’re talking about Preseason, not regular season…..”

And: “And keep caring about stats and not your team success…..”

Whiteside then took a shoot at Embiid’s injury history, Tweeting at Embiid “31 games in 3yrs. Hopefully I get to see you regular season.” Whiteside added the hashtag ‘SolarEclipse’ and ‘EmbiidEclipse.’

Embiid then insisted he thought he was using a burner account.

Whiteside is averaging 14.8 points and 11.8 rebounds this season while Embiid, who was voted in as a starter for the All-Star game, is averaging 23.4 points and 11.0 rebounds. Embiid has played 53 games, six more than Whiteside

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