As you already know, the Sixers take on the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, starting this Saturday. The Sixer Sense will have complete coverage of the series from all angles, starting with this Heat-centric preview.
Most people here know something about the Miami Heat and know what the Big 2.5 (sorry, but Bosh isn’t near the level of the other two) can bring to the table. D-Wade and LeBron are, I believe inarguably, two of the five best players in the NBA. Chris Bosh, as a 4 who can stretch the floor and finish inside, is tough to beat at his position. They also have a whole bunch of role players, signed to help the Heatles get to the NBA’s promised land.
But we don’t know everything about the Heat. Sixers fans want to know more about the Heat, what they need to do to beat us. In order to prepare for this monumental display of basketball (or at least some good dunks), I’ve elicited the help of Chris Malagon, lead writer for All U Can Heat, the Miami Heat blog on the FanSided Network. Chris was kind enough to answer a few need-to-know questions about the Heat.
Me: Who’s more valuable to the Heat, D-Wade or LeBron, and why?
Chris Malagon, All U Can Heat: LeBron is more valuable because he simply is more versatile than Dwyane. LeBron has played every position on the floor for Miami this year, and has been extremely efficient. The Heat are 10 points worse per 100 possessions when James leaves the floor, which is the largest plus-minus difference for one player in the league.
Me: Which Heat role player will be the most important in the Sixers-Heat series?
Chris Malagon: Mike Miller was supposed to be Miami’s most important role player, but injuries have really prevented him from getting into any kind of rhythm this year. As a result I believe Mario Chalmers will be the most important role player, especially if Lou Williams is healthy. Miami will need his defense as Mike Bibby is a turnstile at this point of his career.
Me: Are the Heat good enough to win an NBA title as of right now?
Chris Malagon: If I have learned anything from following the NBA, its that the team with the most stars tends to win. Provided that the Heat have the 3 best players on the court most of the time, it has a pretty good chance to win. Given that LeBron and Dwyane have proven they can win playoff games on their own, I’d say the Heat can absolutely win a title this year. I’m not certain there is a team that can contain Miami’s “Big 3″ four times in seven games.
Me: How long will the series go?
Chris Malagon: In many ways, Philadelphia matches up well against the Heat and I really like what Doug Collins has done in only one season. What will be the Sixers downfall in this series is that they simply do not have enough to contain Miami’s stars. Collins plays mostly man-to-man, which will not bode well when covering Wade and James out on the perimeter. I think Philly can take one at home though, and Miami wins it in 5.
I’d like to thank Chris for taking his time to answer these questions. For more coverage of the series, visit AllUCanHeat.com and follow Chris on Twitter @AllUCanHeat.