NBA Playoffs Pre-Gamin': Heat at 76ers (6:00 CT) and Suns at Mavericks (8:30 CT)

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NBA Playoffs Pre-Gamin’: Heat at 76ers (6:00 CT) and Suns at Mavericks (8:30 CT)

Chicago Bulls

The 76ers and the Mavs are desperately searching for answers against the top seeds in their respective conferences with the Suns and Heat in the driver seat with 2-0 leads. Can Phoenix and Miami keep their foot on the gas pedal tonight or will we see some signs of life from the latter duo?

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Game 3

The 76ers might still be without Joel Embiid tonight in Philadelphia. In fact, he was listed as doubtful on the team’s official injury report as of 11:30 AM (CT), the last report teams are required to submit to the league on gamedays. The Sixers have fallen into an 0-2 hole with the Heat in this series without Embiid, who hasn’t played since suffering a facial fracture in the Sixers’ Game 6 victory over Toronto. Shams Charania reported that Embiid was fitted for a mask this afternoon and optimism that he might be able to play.

Here’s what Tyrese Maxey had to say about the status of Embiid after the team’s shootaround today:

“We’re just preparing to win the game,” 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey. “Hopefully, he plays. If he plays, great. If he doesn’t play, he doesn’t play, and we’re just preparing as [if it’s] another game — a game that we have to win.”

Without Embiid in the lineup tonight, the 76ers are in danger of falling into an 0-3 hole against Miami, one they likely won’t be able to climb out of even if Embiid returns in Game 4.

Broadcast Info & Game/Series Details

Tip: 6:00 PM (CT)
Location: Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia
Series: MIA leads 2-0
Odds: MIA -1, O/U 210

Starting Lineups

Philadelphia 76ers

1. Tyrese Maxey
2. James Harden
3. Danny Green
4. Tobias Harris
5. Deandre Jordan

Miami Heat

1. Gabe Vincent
2. Max Strus
3. Jimmy Butler
4. P.J. Tucker
5. Bam Adebayo

Injury Report –PHI: Joel Embiid OUT (orbital), MIA: Max Strus DTD (hamstring), Jimmy Butler DTD (hamstring), Kyle Lowry OUT (hamstring), P.J. Tucker DTD (calf), Markieff Morris DTD (knee), Caleb Martin DTD (ankle), Tyler Herro DTD (illness)

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks

Western Conference Semi-Finals: Game 3

It’s Chris Paul’s 37th birthday today, and he’s looking as good as he ever has in these playoffs as he hunts for his first ring in his 17th season in the NBA. Paul was lights out in the fourth quarter as the Suns pulled away from Luka Dončić and the Mavs to take a commanding lead over Dallas in the series. With Devin Booker back in the fold, the Suns look too good for Dallas to defeat in this series, even with Luka averaging an absurd 34.4 points per contest this postseason.

Luka and the Mavs will have to split these two games at home at the minimum if they hope to see their home floor one more time this season, and that’s a much easier said than done type of task at this point. Dončić is going to need Jalen Brunson to play as he did in their opening-round series with Utah, and then some if Dallas has any hope of sending this one back to Phoenix. If Luka and the Mavs can’s find some answers soon Phoenix will be one step closer to adding another one of these bad boys to their trophy case in a few days:

Broadcast Info & Game/Series Details

Tip: 8:30 PM (CT)
Location: American Airlines Arena, Dallas
Series: PHX leads 2-0
Odds: PHX -1, O/U 218

Starting Lineups

Dallas Mavericks

1. Luka Dončić
2. Jalen Brunson
3. Reggie Bullock
4. Dorian Finney-Smith
5. Dwight Powell

Phoenix Suns

1. Chris Paul
2. Devin Booker
3. Mikal Bridges
4. Jae Crowder
5. Deandre Ayton

Injury Report –DAL: Tim Hardaway OUT (foot), PHX: Dario Saric OUT (knee)

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.