NBA Play-In Tournament Predictions: Red-hot Lakers, Sixers punch their tickets

With the start of the NBA Play-In Tournament on the horizon, we predict the four teams that will qualify for the official playoff field.
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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(7) Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat (8)

The Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat couldn't be more polar opposites heading into the NBA Playoffs. The Heat has struggled down the stretch and hasn't been able to beat any teams with winning records down the stretch. Since March 1, the Heat has only beaten two teams with winning records. Heading into the NBA Playoffs that's far from ideal. Nevertheless, with a veteran roster, Miami will have the chance to flip the switch heading into the postseason. Whether they'll be successful in doing so remains to be seen, but you can't completely count them out.

On the other hand, the Sixers have been one of the best teams down the stretch. Since Joel Embiid has returned to the lineup, the Sixers are 5-0 in games he's played. Overall, the Sixers are heading into the NBA Play-In Tournament on an eight-game winning streak. Philly is red-hot and Miami continues to struggle against quality opponents. On paper, this Play-In Tournament matchup is pretty straightforward.

I'm not completely counting out the Heat heading into this game but I'd be extremely surprised if the Sixers don't come out on top.

Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers