The Philadelphia 76ers don’t have much to look forward to in the next month. However, the Sixers could be part of one of the most historic games in recent NBA history in a few weeks. That should have been extinguished for the Sixers when the Miami Heat faced a 27-point deficit to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 20, but it somehow remains in play anyway.
The Sixers can still become the Heat’s 33’rd straight victim on April 6, which would leave Miami tied for the longest winning streak in NBA history. The streak should have ended at 23 when the Cavaliers blew the Heat out for two-and-a-half quarters on March 20, but the Heat still won by 98-95 anyway.
The Heat had just erased a 13-point fourth quarter lead against the Boston Celtics on March 18, but this comeback truly proves Miami may never lose again. If it doesn’t lose for the next two weeks, then it will carry a 32-game winning streak into its final meeting with Philadelphia. In that scenario, Philadelphia would make history no matter what, whether it lets Miami tie the all-time record or keeps it one game short.
It isn’t like the Sixers have much else to hope for or look forward to. Their 101-72 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 20 assured them of no better than a .500 record. By the time Philadelphia visits Miami on April 6, it should have a losing record and elimination from postseason contention all wrapped up.
Other than the Andrew Bynum debacle, the only thing these Sixers will be remembered for this year is their part in the Heat’s winning streak. So far, Philadelphia is the only team that Miami has beaten three times in its last 24 games. The last time was the most difficult by far, as the Sixers gave the Heat one of their biggest scares in a 98-94 loss on March 13.
The rematch on April 6 could be just another game, as the odds of the Heat carrying a 32-game winning streak on that night are still high. Yet after their last two comebacks, the Heat’s quest to match the record looks more and more ordained by destiny. By default, this means the Sixers look more and more ordained as the final obstacle in their way.