HHH Gametime Preview: Heat look to end skid in Philly

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Miami looks to halt their 3 game skid in the city of brotherly love as they celebrate Dwyane Wade's birthday.

While it's been a painful few games for the Miami Heat, and their fan base alike, the Heat look to return to form at 7:00pm tonight in the city of brotherly love. Brotherly love is a fitting theme for this contest, as the Heat celebrate the 32nd birthday of resident superstar Dwyane Wade. This rare losing streak has of course drawn much attention from the media, and caused a fall in the power rankings despite solid play from much of the Miami roster (LeBron has averaged 31.0 points throughout the losing streak) Nevertheless, dropping games by double digits are not gaining them any praise.

The starters for the Miami Heat in tonight's contest include: LeBron James, Shane Battier, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Norris Cole. Of course, this means starting point guard Mario Chalmers is a game-time decision with a right Achilles strain. It also appears as if Chris Andersen may be absent once again from the hardwood tonight with a right knee contusion that has been plaguing him over the course of this season. With Andersen out Heat fans should be on the lookout for Greg Oden, who's stated he feels no knee pain and could very well play some key minutes tonight. It's also worth noting that Ray Allen may try to redeem his lackluster play of late tonight. Throughout the losing streak Ray is only 3 of 27 from the field 1 of 12 from behind the arc. Of course this is extremely out of character for Ray especially after a solid start to the season. Regardless, Ray generally plays well against Philadelphia and delivered a season high 19 points against them in Miami's second game of the season.

This should be a confidence building game for Miami, but of course in sports anything is possible as proven by Miami's first contest against Philadelphia earlier in the year. Michael Carter-Williams continues to play like a rookie of the year candidate and this creates a challenge for the Heat defense. To lose tonight would mark the Heat's first four game skid in three years, and thus it must be prevented at all costs. The Heat are an extremely versatile team with their backs against the wall, making this a must-watch game.




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