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Battle For Fifth Place

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It's a Saturday matinee in Miami. Sixers vs. Heat for the right to hold the #5 seed in the East. After the jump we'll take a quick look at the stats, talk briefly about Andre Miller's status and of course have our in-game discussion.

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Statistically, you won't find two more evenly-matched teams in this league. They score the same, they allow the same, neither really shoots the three particularly well. The Sixers do a much better job getting to the line, the Heat take better care of the ball. The Sixers own the offensive glass, the Heat have an edge on the defensive glass.

Everything I can find online says Miller is still a game-time decision. This article leads you to believe Lou Williams would be his replacement should the calf strain keep him out. Thankfully, there hasn't been definitive word from the team. Here's what I would do.

I'm interested to see how Jermaine O'Neal plays for the Heat. Maybe the trade rejuvenated him, maybe not. The first time he was traded this season certainly didn't have that effect.

The key to the game, for me, is to take care of the ball. The Heat are not an efficient offensive team, they are, however, a ball-hawking defense. Maybe less-so without Marion, however. Take advantage of Beasley on defense, keep an eye on Cook from three. That's pretty much it. Dwyane Wade is going to score a ton of points, there isn't much you can do to stop that. It'll be interesting to see who they have Miller guarding, if he does start. My money would be on Chalmers.

The game starts at 3:30, I'll be right here so if you're watching, join me in the comments.
by Brian on Feb 21 2009
Tags: Basketball | Heat | Pregame | Sixers |