Sarah Todd: On paper the Sixers are definitely the better team. But, Miami has a wealth of playoff experience in their front office, coaching staff, and on the roster. I wouldn't put it past Dwyane Wade to turn out a couple of games that make us think it's 2006, and I expect that James Johnson will be working his butt off trying to slow down Ben Simmons, even if its just a tiny bit. The thing that will be the deciding factor in this matchup will be Joel Embiid's return. With Embiid missing Game 1, it's conceivable that Miami could steal a game in Philly. Ultimately, I think the Sixers will win out, it's just a matter of how long it takes. My prediction is Sixers win in six games. My second prediction is that once Embiid returns, the Joel Embiid vs. Hassan Whiteside battle that happens on social media (and the court, I guess) will be a marvel to behold.
David Murphy: Predicting this series is almost useless without knowing how many games Joel Embiid will play. The Sixers have won eight straight since he broke his face against the Knicks, and they beat the Heat in February when Embiid was on the sidelines. On the flip side, Hassan Whiteside played just 18 minutes in that game…since then, the Heat big man has played very well in two straight wins, including a 26-point outing the last time around. If you told me Embiid was going to miss the whole series, I'd have a hard time picking against the Heat. In the end, though, I'll err on the side of home court advantage and Embiid returning by next weekend and pick the Sixers in six.