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2023 NBA Playoffs: Two Hopeful Teams That Need Help If They Lose

The playoffs have not been kind to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat. Both have made attempts to try and break through to win a championship but they haven’t had any luck. The Heat signed Kyle Lowry to a large deal, got P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo a few seasons back and still haven’t been able to break through. The 76ers have tried numerous stars like Ben Simmons, James Harden, and Jimmy Butler to pair with Embiid. Both these teams may start making some changes after the playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers

In 2019, the 76ers had a team of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Tobias Harris. The talent on this team led to many expectations. The 76ers were expected to make the conference finals at least but they lost in the second round to the Toronto Raptors. The next season Jimmy Butler was gone, and the 76ers got swept by the Celtics. Ben Simmons wasn’t there so there wasn’t a large reason to panic.

The season following, the 76ers got more shooting around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons like Danny Green and Seth Curry. They fired Brett Brown and signed Doc Rivers. The 76ers were the first seed and had championship expectations, they later lost in the second round. During the mid-season of the following year, they traded Ben Simmons for James Harden. They then proceeded to lose in the second round.

Approaching the playoffs this year, the 76ers enter as the third seed. Joel Embiid is playing like the best player on the planet averaging 33 points per game. James Harden is averaging 21 points and 11 assists. If the 76ers lose in the second round again, there have to be some changes made. If the Celtics beat the 76ers in the playoffs again, it will show that they simply aren’t good enough.

The 76ers need to get off of Tobias Harris’ contract to have some cap flexibility but he has no market currently. The James Harden situation will also become very interesting if he regresses in the playoffs. There have to be changes coming if this year ends in a sorrowful way for Philly.

Miami Heat

The Heat enter the playoffs this season as the seventh seed, so there may not be much expectation for them. However, if you look at their roster, it was built to contend. Jimmy Butler is on a max deal, Tyler Herro signed a large contract, Kyle Lowry signed an $85 million contract, and Duncan Robinson signed a $90 million contract. The Heat are paying lots of money to players who cannot contribute wins.

The Heat don’t have enough scoring options. With Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro all scoring in the low 20s, that isn’t enough to keep up with the top teams in the East.

If the Heat are out in the first round, which is a good possibility, there should be changes made. Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson should be the number one priority to move on from as their contributions don’t match their contract. Between the both of them, they are averaging 17 points per game.

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