Tonight, the Miami Heat (31-11) go to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (25-18) and try to snap their 4-game road losing streak. This is a pretty important game for the Heat, as the 76ers are one of the best teams in the East and Miami needs to show that they can beat the top teams on the road. It will be the third and last game of the Heat’s road trip, which has only consisted of losses to Orlando and Chicago.
The Heat have owned Philadelphia recently, winning the last 10 regular season games and knocking them out of the 1st round of the playoffs last year. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been doing all they can to avoid these losses, but the bench and other role players need to step it up. Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole have been play weak as of late, and Chris Bosh has been shaky since his return. Chalmers and Shane Battier need to shoot better from three, as they are relied on to make them. Don’t be surprised to see James Jones get more meaningful minutes. Since Mike Miller went down with an ankle sprain, Jones has been getting more time and hitting some big threes.
Philly is an up and coming young team led by Andre Iguodala, and freshly-returned Spencer Hawes. Iguodala was an All-Star and Hawes was borderline. Also keep an eye out for energetic, second-year man Evan Turner, who has been tearing it up as of late for the Sixers. Lou Williams has been the Sixers’ spark off the bench, leading the team in scoring with 15.9 points per game.
It’s important that the Heat start off strong. The Sixers do not have the talent or athleticism to beat Miami, but they certainly play very well together. The Heat will do whatever possible to avoid extending this road-losing streak, but expect the Sixers to come out swinging. Come back after the game for post-game analysis.