The Schedule: Sixers And Heat Run It Back
On opening night four years ago, months after LeBron James’ first decision in 2010, the Sixers hosted the Miami Heat, falling 97-87 to the team that would go on to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals eight months later.
Three years later, the Sixers again drew the Heat on opening night, but that time they were able exact revenge. They beat Miami 114-110 in regulation, ending a drought of 15 consecutive regular season losses to the Heat. In that game, rookie Michael Carter-Williams put together one of the most impressive debuts in NBA history, notching 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, and nine steals. He would go on to become the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992 to earn Conference Player of the Week honors in the first week of his rookie season, and six months later he was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.
Now Carter-Williams is a sophomore, and Nerlens Noel, who missed all of last season after being selected sixth overall in 2013, is set to make his Wells Fargo Center debut against the Miami Heat on Saturday, November 1.
In last year’s opener, the Heat were without swingman Dwyane Wade (rest). This year, they’ll be without LeBron James, who turned the basketball world upside down earlier this summer when he left Miami to return to his hometown Cavaliers in free agency. Since losing James, the Heat have retooled their roster, re-signing a handful of players, including 2014 All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and adding veteran forwards Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts.
Last year, the Sixers bookended their season with victories against the Heat, first in their home opener and then in their final regular season game, a road contest. In 2014-15, Philadelphia and Miami will face one another four times – in the Sixers’ home opener, in Miami on December 23 and February 23, and again to end the regular season at Wells Fargo Center on April 15.
Prior to their November 1 meeting with Miami, Philadelphia will travel to Indiana to open their season against the Pacers on October 29 before taking on the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Halloween two nights later.
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