What better way to end a two-game skid than take your less-than considerable talents to South Beach for a showdown with the third-place Miami Heat who have lost three in a row?
I'll be honest, I'm taking way too much enjoyment out of the Miami Thrice train wreck. It's mostly because in the back of my mind I realize Pat Riley will dispose of Erik Spoelstra, assume his rightful spot on the Heat bench, and whip those guys into shape at some point. For the time being, though, it's just really fun to see those three babies push their coach around in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, then point fingers at everyone but themselves when they lose games.
Dampier is going to give them some help in an area of desperate weakness, but just ask Dallas if he's a game-changer on the interior (when he's actually in shape).
Anyway, even with a pitiful rotation at the five, the Heat still win 4 matchups in their sleep, and they should win this game going away unless the Sixers can somehow convince LeBron and Wade to have a shooting contest between themselves on the perimeter. I expect Miami to go to the line about 60 times and win this game by 20.
But, and I'm seriously stretching here, if there's one game where I'd absolutely love to see the Sixers play above their head and knock off a giant, it's this one. A win in this game is the type of thing that would keep the fire burning for the rest of the year. It's like if the Eagles finished 3-13, but 2 of the wins came against the Cowboys. A terrible season, yes, but still, they beat the Heat. I'd love it. The slim chance that a miracle happens is reason enough to watch. (And if we're really lucky, Evan Turner may be pumped for another matchup with Dwyane Wade and decide he should actually take a couple shots).
- PG: Holiday vs. Arroyo
- SG: Turner vs. Wade
- SF: Iguodala vs. LePippen
- PF: Brand vs. Bosh
- C: Hawes vs. Ilgauskus (or Dampier, not sure)
I have a feeling this is going to be one of those games where Bosh decides he needs to show everyone that he still matters. If they try to run offense through him, I'd double hard and make Wade/LeBron hit jumpers on the perimeter.
Miami 110, PHI 94
The tip is at 7:30. I'll be watching on a delay, so keep it clean, civil and enjoyable in the game thread. I'll have a wrap in the wee hours.