I've made an executive decision to pluralize the Heat name on this blog, henceforth, I will only refer to them as the Heats, thus ending the whole "Heat is" vs "Heat are" debate. Moving on. The Sixers will take the court in Miami tonight against a redefined Heats team, led by Dwyane Wade who was supposedly all the way back from myriad injuries, but hasn't really played like it.
Through three games, two of them losses (one to the friggin' Knicks), Wade is shooting a dismal 41% from the floor and averaging four turnovers per game. His supporting cast hasn't played much better. Shawn Marion can't find shots, Michael Beasley can't pass up a shot, Udonis Haslem is playing out of position at center. Rookie Mario Chalmers has done a nice job at the point and it's good to see Shaun Livingston back on the court after this.
Still, this Heats team is not good. They probably fall somewhere above the Knicks and the Kings, but they aren't that much better. As bad as they may be, you can't take a team, with a scorer like Wade, lightly. If he gets hot, he can carry them to victory on any given night. Another area of concern for the Sixers should be the Heats' pesky defense. They're averaging nearly 10 steals per game, and forcing 20 turnovers. They don't have good one-on-one defenders. They don't have any real shot blockers down low. They shouldn't be able to match up with the Sixers size wise. The key to winning this game is to make smart, safe plays with the basketball. Use your advantage in the half court, no one can stop Elton Brand on this team.
I expect another methodical dismantling of an inferior opponent tonight. Early in the season, the Sixers seem to have this part of being an elite team down pat. You don't lose to bad teams, you don't even let bad teams hang around. You build a double digit lead quickly, then you keep adding on to it until they just give up.
It would be nice to see a break out game for Andre Iguodala, but I wouldn't expect it. He's been more than happy to sit back and watch when his scoring isn't really needed for a victory, I expect that to be the case tonight.
One thing I'll definitely be watching for: Last year, Andre Miller wound up guarding Wade in crunch time of a couple of close games. I'm thinking Thad will get that assignment this time, and I'm anxious to see how handles guarding him.