Perhaps the most covered team over the regular season was the Miami Heat, whether this was deserved or not is another debate but the Heat were a lightning rod for stories. Throughout the year everyone was jumping to conclusions over whether the controversial team was a success; throw those opinions out the window, because now it is time for their true test.
Waiting for the self proclaimed Heatles are one of the league’s feel good stories of the year, Doug Collins’ Philadelphia 76ers. Will the Heat live up to the hype or will the 76ers continue to surprise us all?
Common sense tells us that the Heat will take care of the 76ers with ease as they swept the season series but this match up may have more intrigue than expected. The youth Philly might be able to give Miami fits which could lead us to an exciting series.
The match up which may be the one to watch in this one is at small forward as LeBron James takes on Andre Iguodala. Iguodala has taken his game to new heights this season, embracing his defensive skills so much that he should be runner up to Dwight Howard for Defensive Player of The Year honors. The size and strength of Iguodadla could cause LeBron to struggle.
The 76ers might struggle at the match up at shooting guard though, as they seemingly have no answer for Dwayne Wade. The inability for the 76ers to create their own shots may also be a deciding factor in the series.
X Factor: Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young
For the 76ers to make this series competitive their bench has to dominate Miami’s second unit. Led by Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young, Philly’s bench has been one of the team’s strongest areas this season, while Miami’s bench has struggled for the most part.
Williams and Young have the ability to take over games for Philly and they will need to do just that for Philadelphia to shock the world.
Prediction: Heat in five
Part of me wants to declare this series a remix of last season’s thrilling Lakers-Thunder series but the main problem with that is the 76ers inability to create their own shots in one-on-one situations. When the game gets tight they may not have an option, while the Heat will have a proven clutch scorer in Dwayne Wade to go to.
Expect Iguodala to introduce himself to those who don’t know him yet with a strong showing against James, but the 76ers will ultimately fall short. Meaning the Heat get to take their talents to their second round and we are forced to hear more hype.
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