Not only will the 76ers be trying to break the Miami Heat's 19 game winning streak, two of which came at the hands of the 76ers, but the 76ers have not won a regular season game against the MIami Heat since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach.
However, the 76ers are on a winning streak of their own. It might not seem like much, and by definition does not qualify as a streak, but in 76er land these days 1 game is certainly a big deal.
The last time these two teams met just a week ago it was a relatively tight affair through 3 quarters. Ultimately, the Heat's overall talent level pulled through, seemingly toying with the young and struggling 76ers, much as they have over the past 3 seasons.
Not only has Miami won 9 straight regular seaosn games against the 76ers, and 12 of the past 13, but most of them haven't been close. Only 4 of the 12 losses have been within 9 points.
The last time these two teams met, Thaddeus Young went off for 25 points. Jrue Holiday is averaging 15 points (on 50% shooting) and 9.5 assists in the two games against the Heat, and the team has fallen apart when he has been on the bench. Against the Heat, the Sixers are -12 in the 78 with Holiday on the court, -21 in the 18 minutes Holiday has been on the bench.
LeBron James is averaging 20.5 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists against the 76ers, including a triple double earlier this year. Dwyane Wade is averaging 27.5 points on 67.6% from the field.
Nick Young will be available tonight after missing the last 7 games with an ankle sprain. Damien Wilkins will continue to start for the time being.
The Heat are obviously on a very different level than the 76ers, and right now on a different level than the rest of the league with how they're playing. They're an excellent offensive team, who can turn it on and be a dominant defensive team when they want to. They don't have all that many real weaknesses, with the exception of possibly offensive rebounding, which isn't all that much of a concern for a team with the best eFG% in the league.
Nobody is expecting the 76ers to win this game, and most fans on this site probably aren't even hoping for that, although at much of a tanker as I am right about now, I'd love to see the 76ers end the streak, draft pick be darned. That being said, if we could see a competitive game for 3 quarters again, I'd be tickled pink.
Prediction: Heat 112, 76ers 94