The Miami Heat were upset by the Sixers back in October. But the Sixers are a different team now. Credit: Getty Images
Opening night must seem like eons ago. On Oct. 30, the 76ers defeated the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 114-110.
Since that night, the teams have gone in opposite directions.
The Heat still possess the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 27-11. But they’ve dropped three games in a row with the latest defeat coming 114-97 at Washington. The Sixers finally snapped a four-game losing streak with a 95-92 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday.
Even with a three-game skid, the Heat are always going to be a benchmark type of game. The crowd will surely be stoked Friday when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh visit the Wells Fargo Center.
“I think the energy is always there when the Heat come in,” said Sixers forward Thaddeus Young. “We seem to rise to the occasion, which is good. We need to focus on doing that on a consistent basis, not just when these types of teams come in.”
The Heat hadn’t lost three straight games since the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. They hadn’t dropped three straight in the regular season since Jan. 10-13, 2012.
Don’t think for a second that the Heat will be vulnerable. They have too much talent, too much pride.
“They have Hall of Famers on their roster and we’ll have to bring our A game,” said Sixers forward Hollis Thompson. “We’re coming off a win, so it’s about keeping our momentum going in a positive direction.”