J.J. Redick changes his tune on Miami Heat beating Philadelphia 76ers: ‘I’m going to change that pick’

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Former Philadelphia 76ers guard and current ESPN NBA analyst J.J. Redick changed his pick for who he thinks is going to win the Sixers-Miami Heat series in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Redick, who initially picked the Heat, changed his pick on the latest episode of ESPN’s “First Take.”

“I’ve talked about the Miami Heat all season as being one of the most dangerous teams,” Redick said. “I had them winning this series with or without [Joel] Embiid when the playoffs started. I’m going to change that pick.”

Redick explained that the Heat have to find answers when Jimmy Butler is not in the game, as the team has struggled when the star has rested in this series.

“The other thing Miami has to solve is the non-Jimmy Butler minutes,” Redick said. “He played most all of Game 3 and Game 4. I think there was 16 minutes he wasn’t on the floor. They lost those minutes by 22 points.”

Redick questioned if Butler would be able to play 45 or more minutes for three straight games to help the Heat win this series and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Sixers won back-to-back games at home with Embiid back in the lineup, and now the series shifts back to Miami knotted at two games apiece.

The Heat looked dominant in the first two games of the series, but Embiid’s presence has changed that rather quickly. The Heat scored just 79 points in Game 3, and they struggled shooting the ball once again in Game 4.

Miami is the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but unless role players like Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and Max Strus are able to start knocking down shots, the Heat are far from a lock to win this series.

Maybe the team will take some extra motivation from analysts like Redick that think the Sixers have what it takes to pull off the upset in this series.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.