Before LeBron took his talents to South Beach, he had to make a pit stop in Philly. Six months ago, the new-look Miami Heat opened the season at the Wells Fargo Center with a 10-point win over the 76ers. And a new era in the NBA officially began.
Now, with a full season under their belt, the Big Three (note to headline writers: make this Big Three the last Big Three; we really don't need more) will meet Philly in Round 1 of the playoffs, and they'll be heavy favorites again. If the Sixers want to pull off a monumental upset and end the Heat's season where it started, here are seven things they'll have to do:
• Get in LeBron's head. It's hard to find a bad thing to say about James' game, but if he has one flaw, it's that at times he's had a touch of John Malkovich Syndrome -- the dude just gets in his own head. For the best basketball player on earth, Bron-Bron has a fragile psyche. And if there's one fan base that can deliver the final psychological blows that send him to the shrink, it's Philly's. But if you plan on talking smack within earshot of his mom, you should probably just skip the valet and use the parking lot.
• Andre gets Iggy with it. The Will Smith reference goes back to '98, but Andre Iguodala is going to have to dial it back to '08, when he averaged close to 20 points per game. When the Heat have gone on losing streaks this season, they've let the opposing team's superstar take over on offense. We don't have a guy that can go off for 30 on any given night -- we've been more of a spread-the-love type of team. But Andre Iguodala is our best athlete, and he's going to have to step it up and put on his scoring pants.