The Miami Heat (37-14) are back home, where they have won 15 straight. They will take on last years first round opponent, and the way it is setting up now, their potential first round match up, the Philadelphia 76ers (29-23).
The Heat are coming off of an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics, in a game where they were outplayed from the get go. The Heat need to bounce back and the Sixers maybe just what the doctor ordered for Miami.
The Heat will be looking to extend its home winning streak to 16. They will also be seeking a season series sweep over the Sixers and their 11th straight regular season victory.
At home, Miami has outscored their opponents by an average of 11.0 points per game. The longest streak in Heat history for home wins is 18 straight from Jan. 23-April 5, 2005.
The games with Philadelphia were blowouts for the Heat. They won the first game 113-92 on the road Jan. 21 and 99-79 at home Feb. 3. The Heat were blowing out the Sixers again on March 16th, but blew a huge lead. They still barley held on for the victory.
The 76ers held a three-game lead over Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division as recently as March 11. Now, they find themselves a game behind the surging hot Boston Celtics and now just 2 1/2 games in front of third-place New York Knicks.
The key match up for both teams will be at the small forward position. Lebron James has hardly looked like himself since he injured himself against the Suns. The Heat will need him to bounce back in order to beat any good team. The Sixers are going to need Andre Iguodala to play a strong all-around game in order to have a chance to beat Miami for the first time in 10 games.
The Heat will desperately need to bounce back in this game and get back on track. The Heat face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday and they will need to be at their best to exact their revenge against the team that beat them just over a week ago.
This game is very important for the Heat and they need to avoid a let down by looking forward to Wednesday’s tilt with the Thunder.