3 Players who must step up for the 76ers to beat the Heat

The Philadelphia 76ers take on the Miami Heat tomorrow night for the seventh seed in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. Here are three players who should step up for Philly.
76ers, Buddy Hield
76ers, Buddy Hield / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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After six months of regular season action, the Philadelphia 76ers are poised to go to war in the 2024 NBA Playoffs, though they will have to go through a pesky test in the play-in tournament to secure the seventh seed in the East.

Tomorrow, the 76ers host the No. 8 Miami Heat for the right to challenge the second-seeded New York Knicks. No offense to the Knickerbockers, but they would be a much more favorable matchup for both Philly and Miami compared to the top-seeded Boston Celtics, who basically breezed through the regular season.

Havibg said that, if the 76ers want to get a guaranteed playoff spot right away, here are three players who must especially rise to the occasion.

3 Players who must step up for the 76ers to beat the Heat

3. Buddy Hield

Having suited up for two teams this season, Buddy Hield has actually been very familiar with Miami’s stylings this season as he’s faced them for a total of five games. Unofrtunately, the veteran sharpshooter has been largely contained by the Erik Spoelstra-coached team, averaging just 11 points per game on a ghastly 27 percent conversion rate from rainbow country.

Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey will get their numbers, but if the 76ers solely rely on their 1-2 scoring punch, the Heat would gladly take it while stopping everyone else. And in account of Miami’s wheelings and dealings on their defensive tactics, Hield’s A-game will be of utmost importance in this game.

Miami has an aggressive defensive M.O., and Hield punishing the Heat whenever they resort to the zone could be a game-changer. After all, he’s not only a lethal, gravity-flaunting perimeter force — the veteran has been a reliable connector this year as a secondary playmaking hub off close-outs and an improved rim driver.