The Philadelphia 76ers have been under a major spotlight twice in the last three weeks. However, the Sixers have the Miami Heat and their now 19-game winning streak to thank for that. The Sixers convincingly lost two of those 19 straight games the Heat have won, and now Miami can make it 20 straight when it visits Philadelphia on March 13.
The last time the Heat visited the Sixers, they cruised to an easy victory on Feb. 23 for their 10’th straight win. In the rematch at Miami on March 8, the Sixers put up a better fight for three quarters before the Heat blew them out in the fourth.
Regardless of how the Heat beat the Sixers, they have done it 12 times in a row in the regular season. With two major winning streaks on the line, Philadelphia’s chances of ending both do not look very promising.
The Sixers do have some momentum from upsetting the Brooklyn Nets at home on March 11, yet the Heat are not the Nets. Miami could be exhausted since this will be its third game in four nights, although such concerns haven’t been a problem before. In any case, the Heat were at home in their last four victories, so this is their first chance to travel in a while.
The only two teams Miami has beaten more than once in this streak are Philadelphia and the Atlanta Hawks. However, a loss on March 13 would make the Sixers the only team the Heat beat three times. That could look particularly historic if Miami gets this streak to the upper 20s or more.
For the most part, the toughest competition the Heat have faced lately have been themselves. The Sixers came close to challenging that for 36 minutes last week, but succumbed just like everyone else at the end. Yet no one else has had a third chance to end this run, although Philadelphia is hardly the ideal team to get this many opportunities.
The Heat can reach a big milestone by stretching their run to 20 games. This should put extra pressure on them to get it done, especially on short rest after beating the Hawks on March 12. However, the fact that they’re merely facing the Sixers yet again must provide some comfort for now.