GAME PREVIEW: Heat face their last matchup before the 9 day All-Star break against the Philadelphia 76ers

Tyler Herro took on the role as the team’s starting PG in Terry Rozier’s absence last night and played very well adding 19 points and 5 assists.

Game story:

The 29-25 Miami Heat head into the last matchup before the nine game All-Star break tonight against the 32-21 Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a road back-to-back.

Both teams are shorthanded and missing key guys, most notably Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid. Miami is still without the services of newly acquired Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson as well. Butler and Rozier are expected back shortly after the break, as Richardson will be “re-evaluated in a few weeks”.

Miami dodged a huge bullet with both Rozier and Richardson’s injuries not being long term or season ending. Richardson dislocated his shoulder and Rozier just sprained his knee. They should both be back well in advance for another Miami Heat playoff run.

With unfortunate injuries and guys being unavailable, it opens the door for other guys to get opportunity. Last night, it was Nikola Jovic especially in that role. The young sophomore player was sensational; he provided that exact vision all of Heat Nation saw with a front court pairing of Jovic next to Bam Adebayo.

Jovic showcased his offensive versatility with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists on 8/13 shooting as the starting PF.

He wasn’t the only supporting cast guy to step up though, as Duncan Robinson and Kevin Love both put in outstanding performances. The trio of Jovic, Robinson and Love all finished the game with 5+ three pointers.

The starting unit of Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic and Bam Adebayo showed dominance on both ends of the floor. Each guy of the entire group was at least a +14 on the floor, with Adebayo leading the way by registering his 7th career triple double.

Adebayo dropped a 16/12/11 outing, including a team high +30 on the floor and lock up defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo. The former multi-time MVP winner was held to just 4 points the entire second half of the Heat’s victory against the Milwaukee Bucks last night.

It was a resilient and collective team effort to get the win against a power house contending team while being undermanned.

There were lots of key points to acknowledge following the huge win. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson as a starting backcourt works because of the floor spacing. Having Jovic in there helps complement that because of his own ball handling abilities. For the longest time, Heat Nation has been desperate to give Adebayo that perfect long-term pairing in the PF position. Jovic proved that he can provide that role, when given the opportunity.

Jovic is a natural born facilitator at 6’10; he can play make for himself and others, push the tempo in transition, rebound and hit spot up three pointers. He is still raw on the defensive side, but his size and length show lots of optimism in that department.

Jovic will most certainly get another chance to show what he can add to this Heat team tonight in Philadelphia.

With Embiid out, it changes a lot of what the game plan is like going against the 76ers. The Heat handed an Embiid-less 76ers team a loss on Christmas Day. If Tyrese Maxey can be contained like he was on Christmas, it could be a tough night for the 76ers.

However, newly acquired Buddy Hield can help balance out that backcourt attack for Philadelphia. He is another guy who can shoot the lights out of the ball; if both him and Maxey can be thrown off by a group defensive effort by Miami it can create some problems for them. Expect to see a lot of POA defense by the likes of Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith tonight on their shooters.

Tonight’s game will tip off at 7:00 PM EST on Bally Sports Florida.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:


Philadelphia 76ers:

  • Joel Embiid (meniscus) — OUT
  • Robert Covington (knee) — OUT
  • Nicolas Batum (hamstring) — OUT
  • Tobias Harris (hip) — OUT
  • Kyle Lowry (reconditioning) — OUT
  • De’Anthony Melton (back) — OUT

Projected Starting 5 (subject to change):

Miami Heat:

  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Caleb Martin, F
  • Nikola Jovic, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Philadelphia 76ers:

  • Tyrese Maxey, G
  • Buddy Hield, G
  • Kelly Oubre Jr, F
  • Kenyon Martin Jr, F
  • Paul Reed, C

Betting Lines:

  • Check the current odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 7:00 PM EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

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It might be a Herro vs Maxey show with JB and Joel out. Unless Jovic balls out again. Hope their arms are not that tired from shooting the lights out vs Milw. I’m rooting for a JJJ game. With some Dunc yard dog and another triple double? 😁🏀💪🏻🔥


Let’s get another dub, this game won’t be easy. We gotta come out guns blazing like last night. Also jovic will play another good game and will have a double double tonight.


Not an easy win without Embiid even though both teams are missing much more than just their star player. But, quite doable, and wouldn’t that be a pleasure. For me, the Sixers are my biggest rivalry.


I also hate Philly, but mostly since they had Embiid and Ben. Upset Embiid isn’t going to play, but what’s new


For me. It’s a family rivalry that cuts across all sports. My brother in laws are from Philly. The live here, make a life here, and still root for their old teams. It’s not right.


Embiid out til April. What else is new? “The process” continues…year #13.

Ever notice that these injury prone regular season primadonnas (Embiid, George, etc.) ain’t ever around when the money is on the line.

Hell yes! Take no prisoners! Let’s get another win before the break!



But but but Buddy “Process” Hield!


Lol its been 13 yrs already?! And what…one ecf?


Not even 1! Hahahaha!


Ouch! Maybe the basketball deities cursed them for tanking over the limit lol. See Kawhi lucky winning bounce


Another win and I ll be happy for 9 days.


I second that. Let’s go HEAT!


Ditto. Go Heat!

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