Miami Heat Playoffs: 3 Guys To Watch Heading Into Game 1 With Philly

Victor Oladipo #4 and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game Five(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Victor Oladipo #4 and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Hawks in Game Five(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat are almost back in action.

Though they are off until Monday, the second round of the NBA Playoffs started Sunday. The East has been a grind all season and although Joel Embiid is now officially out with injuries, the Heat still need to be in top condition.

Here are three things to keep an eye on as their second-round series progresses.

Tyrese Maxey

This one is no secret. Tyrese Maxey has been the breakout player for the Sixers this year, which is saying a lot for a team that acquired former MVP, James Harden.

Harden will need to be guarded well but the real key to the series for Philly is Maxey. His overall weapon is his speed when combined with his shooting.

It makes him dangerous everywhere. That’s on the ball, off the ball, and in transition.

Miami has a strong defense, and not having to worry about an MVP caliber player in Embiid helps, but I can see Philly trying to hunt the weaker defenders and find them sleeping. Maxey can attack straight up or shoot off the bounce.

The next name may have something to say about that though.

The Miami Heat enter their second-round series on Monday against Philly with high hopes. Here are three guys to watch in the series.

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Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo has had an, more or less, interesting last couple of years, but he’s finally healthy. Something that can’t be said about the rest of this Heat team.

Most concerning is Kyle Lowry‘s hamstring, an injury we just don’t know much about. But, if Lowry needs to lessen his workload, Oladipo provides some quality relief.

Sometimes the playoffs have a way of giving players shine that we might expect and while Oladipo is no scrub, we really weren’t expecting his Game 5 performance against Atlanta.

He absolutely could build on that.

Bam Adebayo

The Heat need more out of Bam Adebayo and this is no secret. Bam needs to find more ways to score, which should be easier with no Joel Embiid to deal with.

But then again, Atlanta isn’t a great defense and he only averaged 12.4 points in those five games. This is the playoffs and the team needs the production way sooner than later.

We know what he’s capable of, averaging over 19 points per game in the regular season. The team, simply, needs more from him.

Eating more now, while Embiid is down, will help get him going in anticipation of the Conference Finals. That matchup could be the biggest challenge of his career, facing a peak of his powers Giannis Antentokoumpo or the best defense in the league in the Boston Celtics, no path is easy.

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Bam needs to find an offensive rhythm and then, find another transformation from there, but it starts here in this series. If the Miami Heat hope to win it all, which they are capable of, they’ll need that from him.