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by Max Rappaport, Sixers.com
Posted: August 29, 2013

The Sixers host the Miami Heat twice this season, once on opening night (October 30) and again on January 17. Both games are included in the PHIA BIG Game Plan, but let's first focus on the the latter meeting, which makes #7 on our game-by-game countdown of the Sixers’ new 10-game plan.

This will mark the fourth season of the “Big Three” era in Miami. Since the acquisition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010, the Heat have made the Finals three times and have been crowned NBA Champions in each of the last two seasons.

While the major pieces on the team’s roster have remained fairly consistent since “The Decision”, Miami President Pat Riley has helped the top-heavy Heat fill out their rotation with solid role players, adding impressive depth to one of the most talented teams ever assembled.

Heat Key Offseason Moves

Since uniting the big three in 2010, Miami has utilized the Mid-level Exception, which allows teams that are over the cap to sign one or more medium-priced free agents, in addition to veteran minimum deals to add three-and-d specialist Shane Battier, sharpshooter Ray Allen, defensive big man Chris Anderson, veteran forward Rashard Lewis, and, most recently, former first-overall pick Greg Oden to their bench.

Oden was undoubtedly Miami’s most noteworthy acquisition this summer. The injury-plagued 25-year-old has not played since 2009 due to a series of knee issues. Three microfracture surgeries later, the seven-footer will look to reclaim a career that has been limited to just 82 games to this point. If he can stay healthy, the size-deficient Heat will benefit greatly from his presence.

Other Moves: The team waived veteran swingman Mike Miller via the league’s Amnesty Provision and acquired Long Beach State product James Ennis (drafted 50th overall in 2013) via a deal with the Atlanta Hawks.

Projected Starters

Notables

• 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.

• The Sixers look to snap an 11-game losing streak since the LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Miami Heat.

Last Time They Met: Sixers 87, Heat 106 – April 6, 2013

With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh forced to miss the game due to minor injuries, the Sixers were able to hold Miami’s four starters not named LeBron James to just 26 points, but the Heat bench proved too much for Philly to handle. James scored 27 points to anchor a depleted starting five, while the Miami bench combined to score 53 points. 

Five Sixers reached double figures, led by Jrue Holiday and his 18 points. Evan Turner added 14, and Spencer Hawes notched a double-double (11 points and 11 rebounds). Dorell Wright and Nick Young each scored 10 off the bench.