3 Things Heat fans should root for, 2 to root against to close season

Here are five things Miami Heat fans should be rooting for as the team makes its final playoff push.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat
Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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3. Root against Joel Embiid to get to full strength

Joel Embiid is expected to make his return to the Philadelphia 76ers this week, and his first game could be against the Heat in Miami on Thursday.

Embiid will probably need some time to shake the rust off, but he can do that in two weeks. If he’s playing anything near the MVP level he was at before suffering a torn meniscus on Jan. 30, the league is in trouble – even if the 76ers have to make the playoffs through the play-in tournament.

Before his injury, Embiid was averaging 35.3 points on 53% shooting, 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. The 76ers are 26-8 in games he played this season and were third in net rating (plus-6.5) before he went down. In other words, they were every bit a contender.

Climbing out of the play-in and making a run to the Finals is tough but, as the Heat proved last season, not impossible. The Heat might have to do it again this season, but having to deal with Embiid and the 76ers in a 7-8 play-in game would put Miami at risk of missing the playoffs altogether.