Doc Rivers offers his immediate reaction to upcoming matchup against ‘grown men’ Miami Heat

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After a bit of a struggle in the first round of the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers finally put away the pesky Toronto Raptors in Game 6 on Thursday, 132-97.

Philly will move on to face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, and its head coach, Doc Rivers, acknowledged that his guys are in for a tougher challenge.

When the first round of the postseason began, some thought the Sixers could end up losing to Toronto.

They won the first three games of the matchup, only to see the Raptors claw their way into the series by taking the next two contests.

Now, the Sixers could be in some real trouble against Erik Spoelstra’s men.

Joel Embiid, who could end up being named the NBA’s regular season MVP, has been dealing with an injured thumb. Even if he continues to play on it, it may continue to hamper his performance.

Although he had 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting on Thursday, he was not himself offensively in Philly’s two losses to the Raptors.

But an even bigger concern is James Harden, who hasn’t been his usual prolific self for the entire season. The Sixers will need him to shoot a high percentage to have a chance versus Miami.

The Heat, meanwhile, will need point guard Kyle Lowry and leader Jimmy Butler to be healthy and ready to go for Game 1.

If they are, Miami will have a strong chance of returning to the Eastern Conference Finals after going out with a whimper in last year’s playoffs.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.