It’ll only be a few more days until the Philadelphia 76ers open their season against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat at home in the Wells Fargo Center. This game can be a measuring stick for the Sixers this season.
If the Sixers beat the Heat or even give them a game, they’ll win more than the 25 games expected of them this season. Realistically, this will be a long season. The Sixers’ big three of Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young can’t compare to the Heat’s big three of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. They’re more like Greg Oden, Mario Chalmers and Rashard Lewis.
The Sixers’ defense needs to step up, and their big men will be crucial against Bosh and the Heat’s attack game. If they play like they did against the Minnesota Timberwolves, this will be the longest season ever in franchise history. Turner and Young will have to carry the load, particularly this game. Both players have been pulling most of the weight during the preseason. Young will have his hands full with James while Turner will have to keep up with Wade.
If the Sixers hold James to under 25 points and Wade to under 20 points, they have a chance to come out on the winning side. James Anderson also needs to play like he did against the Wolves. He scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds while shooting 4-for-8 in that game. Aside from just the big three, the Sixers must worry about Chalmers, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen, who are just as dangerous.
Opening night will be exciting mostly because of the Heat, but it could be even more exciting if the Sixers get a win against arguably the best team in the NBA.