Ready or not, the 76ers' season officially starts tonight against the Miami Heat at the Wells Fargo Center. Before we get into the best-case, worst-case scenarios for tonight, just wanted to take a minute to explain a new item we're adding to Deep Sixer: On the Road.
If you scroll down the right side of this page, you'll see the feature added, along with a two-week schedule of what we're going to try to provide on this blog. It might change from time to time, because of flight schedules, etc, but we'll try to do a Live Chat every other week, videos with Cinesport, and, of course, regular analysis and updates. In addition, we're adding a new feature called "On the Road," which requires your participation. About every week (usually from the road), we'll be filming a video answering a bunch of questions about the team. Anything goes -- from on-the-court execution to a question about life off of it (say, what the team eats on the charter plane). Most probably don't care how the team travels, but perhaps a few do. Either way, you can submit whatever question you have using the submit feature below the "On the Road" banner. Could be fun, guess we'll see as the season progresses.
As for tonight. Well. I spent last night in Boston, watching the Heat play the Celtics. Afraid to say, there is likely little comparison between what we watched last night and what might transpire tonight. Here goes:
Best Case: The Sixers, as will every team this season, play their tip-top game and compete for three-plus quarters with the Heat. Because Miami doesn't have a true center, the Sixers could keep themselves from getting killed on the boards and run out in transition. If there's one thing certain about this Sixers team, it's that they are, for now, on board with whatever Doug Collins tells them. Andre Iguodala (sprained right wrist), won't even be able to stick to the perimeter. He'll need to attack the basket and that could actually work to the team's benefit. There are two positions that the Sixers could exploit: point guard Carlos Arroyo and center Joel Anthony. We can't see Spencer Hawes dominating anything, but it's possible that Jrue Holiday could bust out of the gate and prove why he's on the upswing of NBA point guards. If he can score 12+ in the first half, he might be able to offset the inevitable dominance of LeBron James and Chris Bosh (Bosh, specifically, on the glass). Wade seems out of sync right now. Couple this with the Sixers potential advantage from the bench (Lou Williams, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights), and the Sixers could be hanging around well into the game. Best case: Miami, 107-99.