Game Preview: Sixers vs Heat
After a tough game on Saturday night snapping a five-game winning streak, the 76ers look to rebound tonight against another Eastern Conference opponent in the final game of their five-game homestand. The Miami Heat come to town.
Following the Sixers’ loss to the Boston Celtics over the weekend, their record now stands at 39-20 overall and 24-9 at home. The Miami Heat visit with a 32-29 record after dropping their last four games and are 13-19 on the road. This is the first matchup between these two teams and is also the first of a home-and-home series with game two taking place on Wednesday in Miami. Philadelphia remains in third place in the East standings while Miami is currently in seventh place in the conference, two and a half games back of New York for the final spot in the top six. This is also the first time the 76ers will see the Heat since Miami eliminated them in the second round of last season’s playoffs.
In the loss to the Celtics, Sixers forward PJ Tucker had his best game of the season collecting a game-high 16 rebounds (five offensive), and adding seven points on the evening. His activity and hustle on full display in this one — showing his true impact on the game that leads to winning plays.
This Heat also played on Saturday night visiting the Charlotte Hornets, falling by a score of 108-103. As mentioned earlier, that was the fourth consecutive loss for Miami who added veteran forward Kevin Love to the team during the veteran buyout period. Love started versus Charlotte finishing with 13 points on 4 for 11 shooting, 3 for 9 from behind the three-point line in 26 minutes, adding a team-best 13 rebounds. Tyler Herro led all scorers with 33 going 10 for 23 from the field, six of the 10 makes came from long distances. Former Sixer Jimmy Butler dropped 28 on just 6 for 10 shooting from the floor but was able to collect a good number of his total by getting to the free throw line, converting 16 of 20. All-Star big man Bam Adebayo rounded out the double-digit scorers with 14.
Starting point guard and Philadelphia native Kyle Lowry last played for the Heat on February 2nd in a road loss to the New York Knicks. He has missed time while dealing with a knee injury. Gabe Vincent has started in Lowry’s place while he rehabs the knee.
The 76ers will look to slow down an offense led by Adebayo, Butler, and Herro — not letting the others make key shots/plays against them that will lead to another loss. Philadelphia matches up very well versus Miami and should find themselves in a position to win this game before hitting the road for five — beginning with the Heat on Wednesday night from South Beach.