Joel Embiid, Sixers Aim to Prove Playoff Might vs. Heat

The 76ers’ game against the Heat could be viewed as a potential first-round matchup. This despite the fact the Sixers are all but officially locked into the third seed in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are fighting for sixth.Joel Embiid

If nothing else, Sixers center Joel Embiid could use this as another game in his NBA MVP campaign. He’s made a fairly decent case already, erupting for 52 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Celtics last time out.

“The MVP race is over,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the game. “Really. Like tonight, we couldn’t make shots… The man just scored half of our points in an NBA game. And I’m biased, but the MVP race is over.” 

Some say that in order for the Sixers to have a chance to emerge from the East and into the Finals, Embiid will have to continue to be otherworldly. There isn’t just enough winning talent around him, those skeptics say.

A game against the Heat will provide another opportunity for the Sixers to prove they need to be feared entering the postseason. The Heat, meanwhile, are aiming just to prove they belong in the playoffs.

At any rate, Rivers recently said he expects at least one starter to be on the floor at all times once the playoffs get here. And that likely includes Embiid.

“I don’t think this is a team that we’ll play an all-bench unit,’ Rivers said on ESPN’s Keyshawn and Max, via Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “I would say this, (Tyrese Maxey), (Tobias Harris), Joel or (James Harden), for the most part, will always be on the floor. That’s basically what we’ve done all year this year.”

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