As the Heat prepare to kick off the post All-Star Game section of their schedule, we fans should appreciate all the positivity currently surrounding the team. After losing 5 straight (and 7 of 8), Miami won the last two games before the break, including a convincing 4th quarter that led to victory in very hostile Atlanta. Considering that during their losing streak the Heat were plagued by poor 4th quarters, this one was extra sweet.
Then during the weekend festivities in Dallas, we Heat fans had more to be proud of. Michael Beasley turned some heads with his multi-dunk performance in the Rookie-Sophomore game. Daequan Cook defended his 3-point title from last year. Then the highlight came on Sunday when D-Wade took home the All-Star MVP trophy, leading the East to victory with a most impressive double double.
So much to be happy about when it wasn't very long ago things seemed quite bleak. Now its time to gear up for the home stretch. The Heat will start off with 4 straight road games (in 5 nights), the first one coming tonight in Philly. The Sixers were playing some great basketball before the All-Star game, winning 5 in a row before dropping their last game in Toronto.
Philadelphia expects to get back Allen Iverson, who missed 5 games to be with his ill daughter. He never disclosed what specifically was wrong with her, but Iverson has said that she is doing much better at home.
- Miami has lost 6-stright games and 16 of their last 18 in Philly. The Heat's last win up there came on December 16, 2005.
- After failing to shoot over 50% in 7 of their last 8, Miami has done so in each of the two games they won before the break.
- This is the first game in the 4-game series between the two teams this season. The Sixers are the only team in the Eastern Conference yet to play the Heat.
- Mario Chalmers is questionable for the Heat with his thumb injury, but even when he does return to the lineup I doubt he jumps right back into the backup point guard role.
- The Heat have not won three in a row since late December.
Tipoff from the Wachovia Center is at 7pm. This is going to be a tough, tough game for the Heat...but as we all know, when they play well they can beat any team in any building.