Miami Heat (58-24)
Philadelphia 76ers (41-41)
Tip Time: 3:30 pmEST
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena
Vegas Line: 11 (Heat)
Mortal Enemies of the Night: Peninsula is Mightier
76ers vs Heat coverage
- Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams will both play. Iguodala will start, Lou will have his minutes monitored and probably play in small bursts
- For the Heat, Udonis Haslem (foot) is doubtful, while Erick Dampier (knee) and Mike Miller (anke/thumb) are probable.
PG: Jrue Holiday vs Mike Bibby
SG: Jodie Meeks vs Dwyane Wade
SF: Andre Iguodala vs LeBron James
PF: Elton Brand vs Chris Bosh
C: Spencer Hawes vs Zydrunas Ilgauskas
- Miami: 3rd on offensive rating, 5th in defensive rating
- Philadelphia: 17th in offensive rating, 7th in defensive rating
Keys to the game (and series, for that matter):
- Andre Iguodala's health, and his effectiveness in defending LeBron James. He did tremendously in his first two games, but in the third game with his injury acting up, LeBron had his first LeBron-like game. Iguodala has missed his last 2 games, and didn't look the same defensively before that.
- Finding a way to slow down Dwyane Wade off the pick and roll, as I discussed here.
- Jodie Meeks regaining his shooting touch. Meeks has been our most efficient half-court scorer, but has struggled recently. He's shooting 27.7% from the field and 16.1% from three over his last 5 games.
- Getting something out of Jrue Holiday. Jrue hasn't been all that effective against Miami this year, averaging only 9.3 points on 34.6% from the field, with 5 assists and 2.7 turnovers. He hasn't been all that effective defending Wade, either (although, to be fair, nobody on the team has)
- Turnovers. The Heat are the best fast break team in the league (with the Sixers coming up second), and committing turnovers and taking long two's is the easiest way to get blown out quickly. The Sixers are tied for the best in the league in turnover percentage, but have struggled more than normal against the Heat, upping their turnover percentage to 14.1% against the Heat, up from 11.6% on the season.
What else can be said that hasn't? We've discussed the top storylines, broken down the half-court offense, analyzed the Sixers defense against the Heat, looked how the Sixers offense matches up against the Heats highly ranked defense, talked on multiple radio shows (with The 700 Level and Sixers Beat), and brought you a round up of all the news. All that's left is to play the game.
This is your game thread. Bring it!
Prediction: Heat 105, Sixers 96