For the Sixers, they will be without starting center Spencer Hawes for the third consecutive game. Rookie center Nikola Vucevic will get his third career start tonight. Vucevic played well last night. In 29 minutes, he had eight points and grabbed seven rebounds. Thaddeus Young poured in a game high 20 for the Sixers and Elton Brand hauled down 16 rebounds last night at the Wells Fargo Center. Tonight is the second night of a back to back for the Sixers. So far this year the Sixers are 4-0 in the second game of a back to back. This is a tough matchup for the Sixers as they are only 4-3 on the road while the heat are 5-1 at home.
Unfortunately for the Heat, they will be without starting point guard Dwayne Wade as he sits out his third straight game with a sprained ankle. In the previous two games without Wade the Heat fared well. They took down the San Antonio Spurs 120-98 and the Lakers 98-87. Mario Chalmers will likely start in place of Wade. The Sixers front line, without the help of Spencer Hawes, will have its hands full as the Heat average 46.3 points in the paint and have scored 50+ points in the paint in 7 of their 14 games so far. Just as the Sixers bench has provided big shots this year, Miami’s bench has also been one of the keys to their early season success. Norris Cole, the rookie guard out of Cleveland State, is averaging 9.3 points per game and he dropped a career high 20 against the Boston Celtics back on December 27th.
Tipoff is slated for 7:30 pm at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. The game can be seen on Comcast Sportsnet and heard on the radio on 94.1 WIP.
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