Wednesday, October 30, 7:00PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Comcast SportsNet | Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM
Updated: October 30, 2013
It’s been 196 days since the Sixers’ 2012-13 season ended. On Wednesday, a new chapter of Philadelphia basketball begins, as the team opens its 2013-14 campaign at home against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
For the Heat, this marks the fourth season of the “Big Three” era. Led by head coach Erik Spoelstra, Miami has reached the NBA Finals in each of the previous three seasons, hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy in both 2012 and 2013. If they are able to secure a third championship victory this season, they’ll join the Celtics, Lakers, and Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to accomplish a championship three-peat.
“I think [the Heat] are just the reality of what is the benchmark of our sport,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after practice Tuesday. “Any time you can get a true guideline of where you stand as an individual or a team, then I think it’s an honest reflection of the things that we’re going to have to do to aspire to get where we want to go.”
Brown To Play Deep Rotation
The Sixers currently have 15 players under contract, but with Kwame Brown officially listed as doubtful and Nerlens Noel, Jason Richardson, and Arnett Moultrie all starting the season on the inactive list, the team will have 11 available players when the season opens. Asked what his rotation will look like on opening night, Coach Brown said that he’d try to play every player he has.
“I think to play the way we want to play and maintain some energy and do it for 82 games, I’m happy to go 10, maybe 11, deep,” he said. “I’d be surprised if you don’t see us do that for the large majority of the year.”
Tired Legs For Miami? Don’t Count On It.
The Heat opened their regular season at home against the Bulls Tuesday night, topping Chicago 107-95. After the game, the team caught a red-eye flight to Philadelphia in advance of tonight's game. But don’t expect that to slow down the Heat, who were 15-1 last season on the tail end of back-to-backs.
A 20-point Miami lead heading into the fourth quarter of Tuesday's season-opening victory allowed head coach Erik Spoelstra to give his starters some rest, with LeBron James and Chris Bosh each logging seven minutes and Mario Chalmers playing just four in the final frame; Dwyane Wade played all 12 minutes, while forward Udonis Haslem didn't play at all in the fourth quarter.
An Internal Focus
Since being hired by the Sixers in August, rookie head coach Brett Brown has reiterated that his focus this season will be to develop talent, forge relationships, and build a positive culture.
“[Our focus] is one far more of excitement to start the year, and it just so happens you’re playing the best team in basketball,” he said when asked about opening night. “I think that this year has to be more reflective of what we’re doing.”
• Last season, LeBron James became the first NBA player to ever average at least 25 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists while shooting over 55.0% from the floor. He averaged 26.8 points (56.5 FG%), 8.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game in 2012-13.
• In four games against the Heat last season, Thaddeus Young averaged 19.3 points per game on 58.7% shooting and committed just one turnover in 100 minutes of play.
• Three seasons ago, Evan Turner made his NBA debut at Wells Fargo Center in a game against the Miami Heat (10/27/2013) and scored 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while adding seven rebounds and four assists. On Wednesday night, Michael Carter-Williams will also make his NBA debut against the Heat.