Here is a look ahead to Thursday's matchup between the visiting Miami Heat and the 76ers.The Sixers were competitive in a 97-89 opener, leading by 14 points early in the second quarter, trailing by 16, and then getting to within 88-87 before being outscored by 9-2 down the stretch.
In Monday's 94-73 loss at Miami, the Sixers trailed by as many as 28 and, after facing a 19-13 deficit after the first quarter, saw the Heat take charge with a 30-18 second period.
In the two games, the Sixers have been outrebounded, 98-79.Can the Sixers, who looked as demoralized after Monday as they did during their 3-13 start, regain their confidence and their jump shots? When the Sixers began 3-13, the 13th loss was a 99-90 setback to the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena. After that loss, the season turned around. Miami put Joel Anthony on Thaddeus Young in Game 2, and even though Young had 18 points, 10 came in the fourth quarter when the issue was all but decided. Anthony was credited with three blocked shots, and it appears as if the statistician may have shortchanged him. For somebody who has just one field goal this series, Anthony has made a serious contribution. The Heat are shooting just 7 for 32 from beyond the arc (21.9 percent). They have made up for it by attacking the basket and have attempted 68 free throws, compared with 35 for the Sixers. Miami has made more free throws (54) than the Sixers have attempted. Since scoring 11 points in the first quarter of Game 1, in which the Sixers led by 31-19, Elton Brand has totaled nine points in the last seven quarters. Andre Iguodala has averaged 7 rebounds and 8.0 assists, but he is also averaging 4.5 points while shooting
4 for 15 from the field.