I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret, Miami is not really a very good team. You'd never know it from the media attention they get, but statistically speaking, they really aren't better than the Sixers. In fact, the teams are pretty even. Miami holds a two-game lead over the Sixers in the loss column, today the Sixers have to cut that to 1.
It's pretty simple, as it usually is with the Sixers. Keep the three-point disadvantage to a minimum. Keep them off the offensive glass and you will win. Fail to do those two things, and you probably won't. The good news is that Miami is weak in both of those areas.
The even better news is that Miami is playing the ass end of a back-to-back and yesterday afternoon they played a triple-overtime game against Utah. Check out the minutes their key players logged:
- Wade: 52
- Chalmers: 53
- O'Neal: 48
- Haslem: 52
It will be criminal if the Sixers don't pressure the ball in the backcourt all night. It will be criminal if they don't push the ball every single time down the floor. I'm talking about running on makes, running on misses, running on dead balls. You name it. The Sixers have an athletic advantage on this team when they're equally rested. After playing heavy minutes like that yesterday, it shouldn't even be close.
This game represents the chance to the Sixers to not only narrow the gap between themselves and the #5 seed, but it's a chance to avoid dropping right back to .500 one game after climbing above. It's a chance to secure some momentum heading into a five-game road trip and most importantly, it's a chance to prove to themselves that they belong in the playoffs. They need to start beating playoff teams, and they need to absolutely make sure they can take care of their homecourt.
The tip is at 1pm. I'll be right here, so join me for the in-game discussion.