For Heat, streak is secondary

The 76ers will try tonight to avoid becoming the first team to lose three straight to the Miami Heat when the Heat come to town tonight looking for their franchise-best 20th win.

Winners of just two of their last 14 games, the Sixers have the added incentive of trying to end their streak of consecutive losses to this juggernaut at 13 games (unlucky for the Heat, perhaps?) Miami’s winning streak against the Sixers is currently its longest winning streak over any opponent.

“It would be good to get a win against them because they have beaten up on us pretty good,” Sixers center Spencer Hawes said following the team’s morning shootaround. “We’ll take a win against anybody but against them it will have a lot more meaning.”

The Heat’s 19-game winning streak is the fourth longest in NBA history and the longest ever by a defending NBA champ.

They’re playing just too well right now to expect the Sixers to beat them tonight, even though they are playing on the second night of a back-to-back.  The Sixers game is the first of five straight roadies for the Heat.  Of those games, the only places where I think they might stumble are in Milwaukee (this Friday) or at Boston (March 18).

If they don’t get tripped up on this stretch that streak will be at 24 games when they return home to face Detroit (25) and Charlotte (26). The next two games are Orlando and Chicago. Who knows, maybe Derrick Rose will return that night at United Center and provide the spark needed to upend the Heat.

The bad news for the rest of the league is that the LeBron and Co., while happy to be on this ride, view it as a distant second to winning the final game of the playoffs.  To them, this streak is just something happening on the way to the second of back-to-back titles.