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Sixers Fall to Miami Heat's Big Three of Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh

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From the time the Sixers' 2010-11 schedule was released several weeks ago, Miami Heat Big Threeeveryone knew that last night’s opening home game against the Miami Heat was a hot ticket. What people didn’t expect was that Miami would be coming off a sloppy opening night loss against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

So here come the Heat, arriving in Philly, looking for a vengeful win to prove to the world that what happened in Boston was something that will not happen two times in a row. They accomplished their goal with a 97-87 win over the Sixers last night in South Philly.

Coming off an unacceptable 27-win season in 2009-10 and a somewhat quiet pre-season, the Sixers haven’t given anyone a reason to get excited about the upcoming season. LeBron James and company did however fill up the Wells Fargo Center last night which gave Doug Collins and company a perfect opportunity to show Philly that the Sixers have a pulse and to showcase the young talent they have on the squad.

The first quarter started out a bit shaky as the Sixers' starters lacked signs of confidence on the offensive side of the court. Their un-selfish play almost proofed to be destructive as early turnovers started to pile up. However, the Heat were struggling to get things going early on as well which is due in part to the Sixers' intense defensive stands in the second quarter. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner provided a spark off the bench as the Sixers contained the Heat to only an 8 point lead going into the locker room.

Some things never change as the third quarter curse still seems to haunt the Sixers.

James Jones had his way from 3-point land as he went 6 for 7 from downtown. Wade and the Heat completely man handled Philly, 31-13 in the third. The Sixers seemed to have absolutely no energy on either side of the court. It almost looked like they were playing one-on-one with their defenders every offensive possession. The chemistry that seemed to start forming in the first half was completely non-existent in the second half of the game. Dwyane Wade did his damage as he ended up with 30 points. LeBron recovered nicely as well in the second half, finishing with 16 points and 6 rebounds and 7 key assists.

Philly showed a surge of life in the fourth quarter with Andres Nocioni hitting a big three to cut Miami’s lead to single digits late in the game. Evan Turner went back to work as well, scoring 10 of his impressive 16 point NBA debut. But as always, it was too little too late as the Sixers fall to 0-1 in predictable fashion.

Overall, I was really not expecting too much going into this season-opener especially since it was against the Big Three of Wade, James and Bosh. The Sixers bench showed some real potential as Nocioni, Turner and Young combined for 41 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists. Doug Collins has options with those three to plug in as solid utility players on a nightly basis. However, if Turner keeps putting up numbers like he did Wednesday night, he will without a doubt earn a spot in the starting rotation.

Last night’s starting lineup couldn’t really get it together on offense. Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand seemed very hesitant with their decisions on the court, which led to early turnovers and easy Miami points. They need to get on the same page quickly in order to avoid future miscommunications on the court.

My prediction for the Sixers this season is definitely nothing more than Doug Collins developing the young talent on the roster and figuring out how to deal with the dead weight and long-term contracts that will continue to plague this team. BUT, as always, I will pray for that 8th spot in the playoffs and hope to be swinging a rally towel come April.

Contact Matthew Schetter at mschetter@comcast.net