Sixers: 5 most compelling games on 2022-23 schedule

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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Sixers schedule — vs. Miami Heat, Feb. 27

The Sixers will have to wait until February for a rematch with the Miami Heat, who not-so-kindly knocked them out of the second round in six games. It wasn’t exactly a fair fight the last time around — Joel Embiid was battling multiple injuries — but nonetheless, the Heat are a serious obstacle in Philadelphia’s pursuit of a championship.

Miami boasts one of the best defenses in the the NBA. P.J. Tucker’s switch from Heat red to Sixers blue will definitely aid the latter team, but Bam Adebayo gave Embiid (however injured he may have been) a lot of trouble in the the playoffs. The Heat swarm constantly and play a very physical brand of basketball. Physicality has too often been the Sixers’ undoing in the past.

Jimmy Butler’s lengthy history with Philadelphia is another ongoing subplot. He has been straight-up more successful since leaving the Sixers, and it would be nice to turn that narrative around at some point. The Sixers have more star power than Miami and the bench is no longer in shambles. Right now, on paper, Philadelphia is the better team. It’s simply a matter of putting the pieces together. A lot of that responsibility will ultimately fall on Doc Rivers.

The Heat are scrappy. They compete and they play team basketball. Erik Spoelstra is arguably the best coach in basketball, and that tactical advantage is what puts them at (or above) Philadelphia’s level. We will see if the Sixers can finally leapfrog Jimmy and Co. this season.

Next. Way-too-early NBA power rankings. dark