The Miami Heat will conclude their brief season opening 2-game road trip tonight in Philadelphia when they'll lock horns with the up and coming 76ers. While its still the home and season opener for Philly, the atmosphere in the Wells Fargo Center wont be quite the same as it was last night in Boston. The hype-meter may not be going berserk but you can expect a loud, passionate bunch Sixers fans ready to see LeBron and the Heat fall for the 2nd night in a row.
With a whole 48 minutes of regular season playing time under their collective belts, the Heat will look to build on the positives from Tuesday night. For a team just starting to get adapted to each other, starting the season in Boston was a very tough draw. Still though, now the Heat players know exactly what they'll need to contend with to challenge for the Eastern Conference crown.
Miami will get a little bit of a break against the Sixers tonight, at least on the offensive end. Boston is one of the best defensive teams out there and it showed on Tuesday, so the Heat should be happy to be facing any other team.
This will be the first game for Philadelphia's new coach and former player Doug Collins. The job as Sixers coach has been a bit of a revolving door position as Collins will be the 7th guy to take over the job since 2003. He takes over a very young team looking for consistency and stability.
Philly brought in a couple new guys; forward Andres Nocioni and center Spencer Hawes are there to add depth and leadership to an inexperienced squad. The Sixers are also hoping this is the year for them to get some of their money's worth out of Elton Brand. He's been in Philly for two years now and has yet to impress.
The guy I feel should be watched is 2nd year point guard Jrue Holiday. This kid has the full package and I've heard nothing but great things about him heading into the season. He can shoot, is a great passer, rebounds well, is quick off the dribble, has fast hands on D...the list goes on and on. I'm actually pretty excited to see him play and see how much he's improved since last season.
- The 76ers have one of the youngest teams in the NBA. There are 8 players on the roster who are 24 or younger.
- For the Heat its just Mike Miller (thumb) listed as out. Mario Chalmers (ankle) is day-to-day.
- As for Philly, center Spencer Hawes (back) and guard Andre Iguodala (wrist) are day-to-day and expected to play.
- Miami went 4-0 against Philadelphia last season, their first season sweep of the Sixers (say that five times fast) since the 97-98 campaign.
- After having a hard time with Rajon Rondo last night, the Heat now get to face 2nd year standout Jrue Holiday.
- The Heat turned the ball over 17 times against Boston, 15 of which were by either Dwyane Wade, LeBron James or Chris Bosh.
Tipoff from the Wells Fargo Center is at 7pm. The game will be broadcast locally on Sun Sports. Lets go HEAT!!!