The Philadelphia 76ers are back in action Saturday night, traveling to Miami to take on the Heat just a day after a one-point loss to the Orlando Magic. The Heat, too, have played a game within the last 24 hours, defeating the Indiana Pacers 113-112. The Sixers are an impressive 5-1 when playing with no rest while the Heat are just 1-4 in the same scenario.
The Sixers will look for a bounce back performance after a disappointing outing against the Magic. In that game, the Sixers not only shot the ball poorly, they visibly played with a lack of effort and attention. The game was just one example of a handful this season in which the players on the Sixers haven’t exactly seemed engaged. Whether this team has earned the attitude that they can just flick a switch when the time comes is a debate all itself. What’s for sure is that tonight’s game against the Heat is meaningful and the Sixers will ease the concerns of many of their fans if they come out and execute against a potential Eastern Conference Playoffs opponent.
The first time the Sixers and the Heat tipped off this season (Nov. 23rd in PHI), Philly dominated en route to a 113-86 victory. The Sixers defense held Jimmy Butler to just 11 points on 4 of 13 shooting; meanwhile Josh Richardson went off against his former team, dropping 32 points for the Sixers, a season high for Richardson. The next meeting (Dec. 18 in PHI) wasn’t as friendly to the Sixers, the Heat prevailing 108-104. Kendrick Nunn gave the Sixers a lot of problems in that game as he poured on 26 points including 4 three-pointers. On the other end, the Sixers struggled to find production shooting just 42.0% from the field as a team.
As of their most recent injury reports, both the Sixers and the Heat have one player nursing an injury. For Miami, Justise Winslow has missed the last 10 games and is in all likelihood out against the Sixers. Philly will again be without rookie Matisse Thybulle, who has not played since December 21st due to a hyper-extended knee that resulted in a sprain and a bone bruise.
Who: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
When: 8:00 pm ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami FL
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic