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Miami Heat Brace for Hot 76ers Team: Fan Preview

The Miami Heat will try to wipe the nasty taste of defeat off their mouths, when they face the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 3. Miami won the first encounter between the two teams in the 2011/12 NBA season, walking way with the 113-92 victory on Jan. 21.

The first encounter took place at the American Airlines Arena, and the 76ers will be highly motivated to even things out in front of their home crowd.

Miami didn't do so well in their last game against the Milwaukee Bucks, blowing a 13 point halftime lead. Despite what many critics think, Miami's "big three" did their part, but their bench players weren't up to par against the Bucks.

"What that second half showed is we still have a long way to go as a ballclub just in terms of playing consistently," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after the loss. "We were playing very good basketball in the first half. It's a fragile game. In this league it can go the other way quickly if you're not staying consistent to your identity."

The Heat's inability to play half-court basketball also played a role in the game, and Spoelstra will have to take the blame for that. Given the depth of talent on the Heat's roster, they should have one of the best half-court offenses in the NBA. Yet, Miami has consistently struggled with half-court plays, and Spoelstra might find himself in a bit of trouble if the trend continues.

On the other hand, the 76ers are currently firing on all cylinders, and the Heat will have their work cut out for them on Feb. 3. The 76ers have won their last four games, including a 16 point beat down of the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls on Feb. 1. Andre Iguodala had a big game against the Bulls, finishing with a total of 19 points (shooting 62 percent from the field), 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The Heat will need to slow him down, if they plan on walking away with the victory.

David is a Miami Heat fan that has followed the team for 16 years. Follow him on twitter @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.

Sources:

Associated Press, "Heat-76ers Preview"

Player and game information from ESPN.com

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