Tonight at 7PM, the 76ers will host the Miami Heat at the Wells-Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. This will represent the first of four matchups this season between the teams, with a return to Philadelphia on April 15th. They’ll meet twice through the thick of the season in Miami, on December 23rd and February 23rd. After tonight’s game, the Heat will return home to play the Toronto Raptors, tomorrow night at 6PM. After opening the season with an 0-2 roadtrip, the Sixers are starting a four-game homestand. They’ll go on to play the Houston Rockets on Monday, the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, and the Chicago Bulls on Friday.
The last time the Heat faced the 76ers was on April 16th last season, in the last regular season game for both teams. For the second game in a row, Erik Spoelstra decided to rest his starters. Philadelphia earned a 100-87 win, led by Thaddeus Young’s nine-for-17 performance. He also had nine rebounds on his way to 20 points. Also scoring in double figures for the 76ers were Michael Carter-Williams (12 with four assists and six boards), Brandon Davies (11), Henry Sims (10, with seven rebounds and three assists), James Anderson (10), and Casper Ware (10). The Heat’s B-Squad was led by Dwyane Wade, who scored 16 points with four assists. Toney Douglas had 13 with four assists, Ray Allen had 11 points, and Udonis Haslem scored seven with 10 rebounds. * Box Score * Full Recap
They did it with a collective team effort. To their credit, they found a way to navigate without having me to call a timeout. I just thought the energy to end the season confirms the character that I've said from Day One. - Sixers coach Brett Brown
For more on the Sixers, head to Liberty Ballers
In Miami’s last game, their first of this season, they downed the Washington Wizards by a score of 107-95. Chris Bosh led the Heat with 26 points and 15 rebounds, Norris Cole scored a career high 23 on nine-of-15 shooting, and Dwyane Wade had 21. Luol Deng also ended up in double figures with 12 points. For the Wizards, Marcin Gortat had 18 with seven boards, Drew Gooden had 18 on eight-for-11 shooting, Paul Pierce scored 17 with six rebounds and five assists, John Wall had 16 with 11 dimes, and Otto Porter scored 13 off the bench. * Box Score * Full Recap
After the game, Bosh addressed the media:
I'm just happy to be playing basketball again in front of this great crowd and this great city. We have so much going for ourselves right now. I like to win. It doesn't matter how we do it. We can get better.
Bullets Forever has more on Washington.
In Philadelphia's last game action, last night in Milwaukee, the Bucks topped the Sixers 93-81. The Sixers were led by Hollis Thompson’s 15 points, Nerlens Noel’s 14 points with 10 rebounds, Tony Wroten’s 14 points and six assists (with eight turnovers), and KJ McDaniels with a dozen off the bench. OJ Mayo led the Bucks off the bench with 25 points on eight-of-13 shooting, along with five assists. Jabari Parker had 11 points with 10 rebounds, Brandon Knight scored 13 with eight assists and seven boards, Larry Sanders had 15 rebounds, and John Henson blocked six shots. * Box Score * Full Recap
New Bucks coach Jason Kidd talked later:
Being a young team and playing through it and finding a way to grind a win out - that's what good teams have to do in this league, so we're going in the right direction.
More on the Bucks can be had at Brew Hoop.
All-Time Record: Philadelphia has a slight 52-50 advantage in head-to-head matchups with Miami.
Miami Heat: 1-0, 1.000, on pace for 82-0. Tied for first in the Southeast Division, tied for first in the Eastern Conference, tied for fourth in the NBA. Last Five: X-X-X-X-W. Playoff Odds: 63.3%
Philadelphia 76ers: 0-2, .000, on pace for 0-82. Fifth in the Atlantic Division, tied for 13th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 25th in the NBA. Last Five: X-X-X-L-L. Playoff Odds: 39.3%
For the second game in a row (let's make it three, hmmmm?), the Heat will try to avoid their 1,000th franchise loss against 1,086 wins. If Shannon Brown, Andre Dawkins, and Danny Granger all play, they will be the 209th through the 211th players to have taken the floor for the Heat franchise. If Haslem plays, he will join Dwyane Wade in the 12 seasons played club, and will likely also join him in the 20,000 minute club (he has 1,9987).
If Norris Cole makes three three-pointers, he will pass Brian Shaw into 31st all time with 122. One rebound will move Mario Chalmers into 21st all-time, passing Bimbo Coles with his 1,070th. Chris Bosh, with three assists, will pass Rod Strickland into 23rd, with 464. Mario Chalmers will pass Grant Long into second all-time with five steals. With two blocks, Udonis Haslem will move into Miami’s top 10, tying John Salley with 233. Norris Cole will pass Isaac Austin into 37th all-time with 16 points, which would give him 1,452.
Power forward Gary Alexander turns 45 today. He played four games with the Heat back in 1993-94, appearing for 12 minutes and scoring two points with three rebounds and an assist.
Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 7PM
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Charlotte Bobcats, 7PM
Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic, 7PM
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Washington Wizards, 7PM
Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks, 7:30PM
Brooklyn Nets vs. Detroit Pistons, 7:30PM
Boston Celtics vs. Houston Rockets, 8PM
Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 8PM
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 8PM
Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz, 9PM
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors, 10:30PM
Probable Starting Lineups
PG - Norris Cole
PF - Josh McRoberts
C - Chris Bosh
SF - Luol Deng
SG - Dwyane Wade
This starting lineup is based off nothing but my own common sense. It may be completely wrong - but I'm probably right.
PG - Tony Wroten
PF - Henry Sims
C - Nerlens Noel
SF - Hollis Thompson
SG - Chris Johnson
...and this starting lineup is based off of last night's starting lineup for the Sixers. It's also probably right. For both - if I'm wrong - I'm sorry, but I don't apologize.
...and that's it for your preview. Tune in back here again for the GameThread, check out our recap soon after, our five stars in the morning, another preview tomorrow afternoon, and the game against the Toronto Raptors, at 6PM.