At the rate Miami is going without All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, having him back in the lineup could be detrimental.
But let's be serious here.
The Heat are 5-0 without Wade in the lineup this season and the 2006 NBA Finals MVP is listed as questionable for tonight's game versus the Philadelphia 76ers in the continuation of a five-game homestand. Wade is averaging 19.6 points this season and is hampered by a right ankle problem.
Donning intimidating all-black uniforms, the Heat disposed of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 98-87 victory Thursday from AmericanAirlines Arena in the second portion of the residency. LeBron James, who missed the pregame shootaround with flu-like symptoms, ended with 31 points, eight assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks. He outdueled Kobe Bryant, who posted 24 points.
"It's never been between me and Kobe," James insisted. "We get all the press and limelight, but we just try to do whatever it takes to help our team win."
Chris Bosh had 15 points and eight rebounds for Miami, which is 2-0 on the homestand after losing three in a row and will also welcome the Bucks and Cavs to town. The Heat are in the midst of playing eight of nine games in south Florida and are 5-1 as the host this season.
Meanwhile, the Sixers wrapped up a three-game homestand with a 2-1 mark thanks to last night's 90-76 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Wells Fargo Center. It was a tale of two halves for the 76ers, who trailed by a 47-39 score at halftime before outscoring the Hawks, 25-10, in the third quarter.
Thaddeus Young scored a game-high 20 points off the bench and Jrue Holiday added 16 points and 11 assists in Philadelphia's fourth win in five tries. Elton Brand had 10 points with a season-high 16 rebounds for the Sixers, who own a comfortable lead atop the Atlantic Division.
"That was an incredible second half for our guys. The activity level defensively was off the charts. Everything we did tonight was triggered off our defense," Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins said.
Sixers center Spencer Hawes missed his second straight game due to an Achilles injury and could be out again tonight in Miami. After visiting the Heat, Philadelphia will return to the City of Brotherly Love for a seven-game homestand. The Sixers are off to their best start after 14 games since a 12-2 ledger to begin the 2000-01 campaign.
The Sixers are 4-0 in the second game of back-to-back contests this season and 9-1 when holding opponents below 90 points. Each of their 11 wins this season has been by at least eight points.
Miami needed five games to dispose of the Sixers in last year's Eastern Conference quarterfinals and won all three matchups during the regular season. The Heat have won seven in a row against Philadelphia, losers in six straight trips to south Florida. The last time the 76ers prevailed in Miami was a 101-96 overtime triumph on Feb. 23, 2008.
The 76ers are just 2-12 in their last 14 games as the guest in this series.