Nic Batum gives thoughts on how Sixers can defeat Heat in the play-in

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Philadelphia 76ers have high expectations for themselves as they take on the Miami Heat in the play-in game. The Sixers have dealt with a great deal of injury adversity. Now that they’re healthy and Joel Embiid is back in the picture, Philadelphia is confident it can make a run.

However, the Sixers have to get past the Miami Heat in the play-in game first. Miami is a proven team that has made at least the Eastern Conference finals in three of the past four seasons and has made the conference finals twice. In fact, the Heat went from the play-in to the finals in 2023.

Nic Batum, who has play-in experience while with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2022, will be looking to send a message to his younger teammates to come away with a win over the Heat.

“It’s like a Game 7,” Batum said. “We don’t think about ‘Yes, if we lose, we have a second chance.’ No. We have to win tomorrow. You want to win tomorrow. You want to move in. You want to be in. We feel like we’re a good team. We’re gonna play a great team as well that wants the same thing as well so it’s gonna be a great fight tomorrow.”

Led by Jimmy Butler, who always takes his game to another level in the playoffs, the Heat will be a tough team to defeat. The Sixers will have to prepare for what he brings to the table. Batum will be a part of the group that will attempt to slow him down.

“He proved it,” Batum said of Butler. “A couple times — since he’s signed with the Heat, especially. He made two finals in four years. He’s shown that he rises up for those moments. We gotta be ready for him tomorrow.”

The Sixers will have to slow the other pieces on this roster. Besides Butler, the Heat have Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and others who can all put the ball in the basket.

“They have a lot of guys that can score for sure,” Batum finished. “Besides Jimmy, they’ve got Herro, Robinson, (Terry) Rozier, Bam, they’ve got a lot of weapons. They’ve played together for a while and they know how to win. They were in the play-in last year and they showed they can be a play-in team and go all the way. They have so many stuff to be a great team. You just have to contain them.”

The Sixers and the Heat will tip off at 7 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire