This will obviously be the most watched team during the playoffs, as they were during the season. Erik Spoelstra does not have to motivate this team with Knute Rockne speeches… The motivation has been at a fever pitch all season long! The Heat controlled the 76ers with a 3-0 series lead with a stifling defense. They allowed only 92 points per game, which was seven below their average.
Doug Collins is a tremendous coach and he will have his team ready, but will he have two of his key players (Louis Williams and Andre Iguodala) ready to go? The Sixers are a stubborn hard-working team and the Heat will not have an easy series. Miami’s starters, led by the Big Three, dominated the Philly starters consistently in all three wins… But hey, the Sixers have the best scoring bench in the league. They have outscored the Heat bench by a 28 point per game margin.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will have to score at least 65 to 75 points per game depending on if they continue to hold Philly to 92 points per. The Heat got the matchup they wanted and I expect them to try and put this Philly team away quickly. If they get confidence, this could turn very ugly quickly for Miami.
The pressure will be on Mike Miller, James Jones and Mario Chalmers to provide some consistent offense. If not, the Heat will call on Eddie House, who can score big numbers despite his defensive liabilities.
The Heat will win if…
– The Big Three average 70 to 80 points.
– The Heat continue to hold Philly below 95 points per game.
– Effectively take away the low-post game of Elton Brand.
The 76ers will win if…
– They force susceptible Chris Bosh into a poor series.
– Keep LeBron and Wade on the perimeter.
– Continue to outscore the Heat bench by a wide margin.
– Heat will be focused and determined. Miami 4, Philadelphia 1.
SCHEDULE: April 16, April 18, April 21, April 24, April 27, April 29 and May 1 / Miami won the regular season series 3-0.