Sixers: 3 takeaways from gutsy Game 3 win over Heat

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Sixers-Heat Game 3 takeaways: The lack of certainty moving forward

It’s easy to fist pump and celebrate the Sixers’ return to contending form — and you should. The Sixers can clearly match this Heat team with Embiid in the lineup, and Miami has a lot to figure out ahead of Sunday’s Game 4. That said, there’s still reason to proceed with caution. The Sixers aren’t in the clear yet.

Miami is due for some positive shooting regression in Game 4. Tyler Herro is unlikely to be so quiet, Kyle Lowry won’t drop many zero-point, three-assist games, and the Heat defense did hold Philadelphia mostly in check (99 point) despite Danny Green having possibly the best game of his postseason career with 21 points on 7-of-9 from deep.

The Sixers cannot count on Danny Green bailout 3s moving forward. We know Green is just as capable of going 1-of-9 from deep, because he did so in Game 2. Joel Embiid’s impact is without question, but can the Sixers win so comfortably on another 18-point performance? Does Embiid show up to Game 4 gassed because he hasn’t practiced in a week, or does he look even better after a quick return to game speed? The Sixers can probably expect Tobias Harris to score more than nine points. There are plenty of swing factors that could determine the outcome in Game 4.

The Heat are an elite defensive team with a middle-of-the-road offense compared to most contenders. The Sixers are turnover-prone, tend to run hot-and-cold, but also boast a competitive defense when Embiid’s in the middle. That defense showed up on Friday. This series might turn into something of a muddy slugfest moving forward. It could get really fun — especially if the Sixers can scrape together a second straight win and even the series before it heads back to Miami.

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