Miami Heat Favored To Close Out Series Over Philadelphia 76ers
April 27th, 2011- By Bryan Cross
The Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers match up for Game 5 in their best-of-seven series on Wednesday night, with the Heat getting a second opportunity to eliminate the 76ers from the NBA post-season.
For Miami, Game 4 left a bad taste in their mouth, after blowing the chance to sweep the series after winning the first three games. In the final minute and a half of the Game 4 loss, Philadelphia went on a 10-0 which has kept them alive and kicking for another opportunity to a stay-of-execution.
“That’s they way they should play,” remarked Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. “The way we should play is with a deep sense of urgency and desperation. We had that for the most part in the first three games. We had a sensational second quarter in Game 4. … But that wasn’t enough of a burst. We weren’t able to sustain it and we relaxed.”
A win on Wednesday night, and the Heat lock themselves in with the Boston Celtics in a second round match up. But despite being up 3-1 in the series, Miami still cannot yet afford to look ahead at the looming match up despite popular opinion assuming they will advance.
“We’re talking about Philly right now,” remarked Dwyane Wade.
On the other side of the court, Philadelphia hopes to build off of what they were able to accomplish in Game 4, though hitting the road again will prove to be a challenge as the team has struggled in American Airlines Arena.
The 76ers are taking a positive outlook on it, anxious to get to the court.
“They wanted to get down there,” said Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins. “And guys are loose. They’re having fun. It’s just a great time to be playing. Anytime you have the chance to play these kind of games, it helps them grow. I’m learning more about them every single day.”
It will be important for Philadelphia to get off to a good start on Wednesday night on the road, as they do not want to get down early and play most of the game from behind. Staying even or getting a quick lead will put some pressure on the Heat, knowing that a Game 6 would come back to Philadelphia and that Miami would not like to make that trip again.
Heat/76ers Game Line: Oddsmakers heavily favor Miami to close out the series on Wednesday night in Game 5, with NBA Playoff Betting Lines setting the Heat as a 10.5-point favorite over Philadelphia. The over/under for the game has been set at 186 points.