76ers All-Star center confirmed out for Game 1 against Heat

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"If it was my decision, I would probably play". Not only did this game put the 76ers ahead of the Cavs in the Eastern Conference standings, but it showed that the Sixers can play playoff-quality basketball. The Sixers even had a team dinner Thursday night as a way to bond in advance of Game 1 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Which means they get to face off against the No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers; a series that is now being deemed Culture vs. Process.

"I wouldn't necessarily say we've struggled", Spoelstra said. "I actually think, in a way, not having been in it is an advantage". Sure, the 76ers have played their last eight games without him, but it has to be noted that during that time, Philadelphia faced teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. His status for the remainder of the first-round series remains unclear.

"With a clear mask, it kind of feels like there's so much reflection, and I can't really see", he said.

Redick returns after sitting out the final game of the regular season.

With game-breaking dynamos surrounded by a cast of versatile supporting players, the Sixers have a legitimate chance at a deep playoff run this spring. The likes of Amir Johnson and T.J. McConnell would need to step up their game in the playoffs and try and get a little more load off their star-duo if the Sixers hope to prolong their postseason. "We have the resume". They've won those 16 games in a row, and while numerous wins were against bad teams, it's impossible to discount a streak that long. We're a top-three defensive team in the league and a lot of that speaks for itself. Embiid, Simmons and Fultz all played crucial roles in leading the Sixers (52-30) to their best record since the 2001 Eastern Conference champs went 56-26.

"I should be first-team All-NBA, too", he said, smiling behind his mask. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.

Opera Philadelphia took a break from its rehearsal for "Carmen" to record an a capella version of the Philadelphia 76ers' catchy retro anthem, "Here Come the Sixers".

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