MIAMI — When asked Monday morning about the Heat’s ability to switch defensively, 76ers coach Doc Rivers had a quick response.

“It’s not that unique,” Rivers said at shootaround at FTX Arena before Game 1 of the Sixers’ Eastern Conference semifinals series, “because we just played Toronto.”

That was the theme as the Sixers quickly shifted from one playoff series to the next. Though each matchup brings its own set of challenges, Rivers immediately identified the Raptors, whom the Sixers defeated in six games late last week, as an appropriate bridge to this round against Miami because of both teams’ styles of play.

But Monday night, the Heat beat the Sixers, 106-92, using the Raptors’ formula: with 15 offensive rebounds, with 22 points scored off 15 Sixers turnovers, and with a level of physicality that flustered the Sixers’ offense and reminded that the playoffs intensify as each round arrives.

“We’re working with a small margin of error,” Rivers said after the game, referring to the Sixers missing MVP finalist Joel Embiid because of an orbital fracture and concussion. “So we can’t give a team 13 extra shots on the road without Joel and think we’re going to win a game.”

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The most prominent similarities the Heat and Raptors share are how they defend. Though Miami does not possess the same length up and down the roster as the like-sized Raptors, the Heat have a versatile unit on that end of the floor anchored by center Bam Adebayo, who finished fourth in voting for Defensive Player of the Year despite missing 26 regular season games. As a team, the Heat ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive rating (108.4 points allowed per 100 possessions) during the regular season and entered Monday with the second-best unit so far in the playoffs at 104.1 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Like the Raptors, the Heat are expected to deploy a variety of trapping schemes and “fly around and cause havoc,” as Sixers reserve forward Georges Niang described, in an effort to force turnovers they can parlay into their offense. Miami scored 11 points off seven Sixers turnovers in the first quarter Monday night, helping them quickly build a 14-point lead. The Heat scored another seven points in that fashion in the fourth quarter as part of their emphatic push to a comfortable win.

“We’ve just got to be ready for anything they throw at us,” second-year guard Tyrese Maxey said, adding that the Heat “junked the game up a little bit” on defense.

Miami ranked fifth in the league in turnovers forced per game (15) and seventh in points off turnovers (17.2 per game) during the regular season, numbers that rose to 16.4 turnovers forced and 18.8 points off turnovers in the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks that it won in five games. The Sixers, conversely, averaged the fourth-fewest turnovers in the NBA during the regular season (12.5 per game) but were inconsistent against the Raptors, committing four in their Game 1 victory but 16 apiece in their Game 4 and 5 losses.

Attacking that brand of defense will be key for Maxey, who acknowledged some hesitancy in the middle of the Raptors series because “it seems crowded every single time” he surveyed the floor before scoring 25 points in Game 6. All-Star James Harden, who totaled 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting Monday and will be asked to carry more of the offensive load with Embiid out for at least Games 1 and 2, also emphasized the importance of turning defense into offense. That occurred during the Sixers’ decisive 17-0 run in the series-clinching Game 6 win in Toronto, which turned a tight game into a blowout.

“If we can generate consecutive stops in a row,” Harden said, “that allows our transition offense to get out and be more successful.”

One surprising way the Heat looked like the Raptors on Monday night was on the glass. Miami ranked 18th in the NBA during the regular season in offensive rebounds (9.8 per game) and totaled 8.2 per game in the five games against the Hawks. They nearly doubled that total in Game 1, yielding 14 second-chance points. That included a critical third-quarter sequence in which Miami grabbed three on one possession, igniting the crowd and eventually leading to Adebayo drawing a foul on Sixers second-year big man Paul Reed.

“[That] was a big stretch, and the momentum shift of the game,” said standout Tobias Harris, who finished with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting and six rebounds. “[It’s] stuff that we know already, but we’ve got to put it into play the minute we’re out there on the floor.”

The Raptors’ relentlessness after falling behind 3-0 also tested the Sixers’ mentality. That series included a slew of sharp emotional shifts, from the Sixers’ dominance of Games 1 and 2, to the exuberance of Embiid’s Game 3 winner, to the disappointment of Games 4 and 5, to the excellence under pressure in Game 6. Now, the Sixers must respond as the team in a 1-0 hole.

“You’ve just got to be truly resilient through the process,” Harris said after finishing off the Raptors. " … Just stay balanced. Can’t get caught up in what everyone has to say. We understand. We wanted the sweep [of the Raptors]. Obviously, as NBA players, we wanted a sweep. It didn’t happen that way.

“But for us, I think it’s part of our story, and it’s one thing that’s going to happen that’s just going to lead to the growth of our unit and our team.”

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There are key differences between the Heat and Raptors. Sixers veteran wing Danny Green said he expects the Heat to take more three-pointers (they went 9-of-36 from beyond the arc Monday night, including a 4-of-6 night from Tyler Herro). The Heat also are far more experienced behind Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and P.J. Tucker. Sixers center DeAndre Jordan also cautioned that, because the Heat are the East’s top seed, “you’ve got to give those guys a lot more respect.”

And after a weekend of sharing how the Raptors’ style prepared the Sixers for their trip to Miami, the Heat beat the Sixers using the Raptors’ formula.

“Two things that we’ve been preaching, even from last series,” Harden said. " ... Things that we can control are rebounding the basketball and not turning the basketball over. [Those are] things that we can control, and once we do that next game, we’ll have a better chance of winning.”