After an overtime battle on Tuesday, the Sixers and Heat will face off again tonight. The Heat will still be without a majority of their roster, but the Sixers continue to get back to full strength. Ben Simmons returned to the floor on Tuesday, and three more Sixers could return in game two.
Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, and Matisse Thybulle have all been upgraded to game-time decisions for tonight's matchup. This would put four of the Sixers' starters back in the lineup, and their sixth man. The return of these familiar faces should be a nice boost to the team.
Before the roster was depleted due to health and safety protocols, Tobias Harris was playing some of his best basketball in a Sixer uniform. He was confident and making quick decisions on the floor at a high level, getting him back in the lineup will be a nice upgrade to the Sixers' offense.
The biggest takeaway of getting these guys back is what it does for the rotation as a whole. In this recent stretch, guys have been required to play big minutes, now with almost the full rotation back, it can lessen the load.
One name to keep an eye on in this 'series' finale is Joel Embiid. After the MVP-type performance he put on to lead the Sixers to victory on Tuesday, it will fascinating to see how he follows it up. The Heat defense had no answer for Embiid once he got going in the second half, and it should be more of the same in this one.
Ben Simmons is one player who will be looking to get back on track in this second meeting. He would score just five points before fouling in the fourth quarter and had some turnovers issues.
Getting guys like Harris and Milton back should help Simmons get back to looking like himself. Having those guys on the perimeter will open back up his drive and kick game, and Miami won't be able to wall off the lane, allowing him to have more room to attack at the rim.
The Sixers need to come out and set the tone early and take control of this game. Miami is still without their key players, leaving no reason for this game to go down to the wire like the one on Tuesday.