The Miami Heat (7-4) were able to shake off a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this week with a solid victory against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday at the AmericanAirlines Arena and will seek their second straight win when they host the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers (0-13) tonight at 8:00 pm.
League-worst might be an understatement, with the once-proud franchise entering another season gunning for the lottery and preferring to develop young, raw players with little on their roster in the way of quality veterans to stabilize their promising core. As a result, they have now lost 23 consecutive games dating back to last season (almost half of them road losses).
Nevertheless, let's not forget arguably the lowest point of the season in a series of setbacks for the Heat nearly a year ago when the 4-23 Sixers unbelievably erased a 23-point second half deficit at the AA Arena for the shocking 91-87 win. In order for the Heat to lose to such a bad team with that big of a late lead, they shot 27.8% from the field in the second half and scored just nine points in the final quarter. Anyway, let's move on.
The Heat don't want a repeat of that by underestimating their opponent, but this time around they come in healthy and with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh enjoying solid bounce-back performances after a lackluster game against the Timberwolves. The bench has continued to shine, with Tyler Johnson and Justise Winslow in particular providing valuable minutes.
The schedule will get tougher after this stretch of home games against teams that were in the lottery last season, so it's imperative that the team continue to collect wins now. The loss to the 76ers last season was costly in more ways than one, with their razor thin margin for error as they fought and ultimately failed in their bid for the last seed in the playoffs. This year, having a strong home record could possibly mean the difference in securing home court advantage.
(And hey, at least the Heat got Winslow instead of forfeiting that draft pick to Philly.)
- Luol Deng
- Chris Bosh
- Hassan Whiteside
- Dwyane Wade
- Goran Dragic
- Jerami Grant
- Robert Covington
- Jahlil Okafor
- Nik Stauskas
- T.J. McConnell
Bosh on the danger of facing a young team hungry for a win.
"I'm glad that we kind of had a little bit of slippage...with the Kings as far as our transition defense because these young guys are going to run. They're winless, but they play extremely hard. That doesn't really reflect their effort."
- Tip Off: 8:00 pm
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