MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The new-look Miami Heat are expected to look much better on Monday night than they did against New Orleans on Saturday.READ MORE: Parkland Activist Dad Fred Guttenberg Joins Anti-Gun Group
With a star player out for the season and a new point guard seeking to define his role, the Heat admittedly need some time to adjust.
Their tenuous hold on a playoff spot would indicate that they can’t take too long to adapt.
The Heat will try to strengthen their position Monday night when they face a franchise that’s continued to look toward the future, the Philadelphia 76ers.
Miami (23-31) lost 105-91 to visiting New Orleans on Saturday in its first game since getting the news that Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the season because of blood clots in a lung.
“We’re losing somebody who does so much for us on both ends of the floor,” guard Dwyane Wade said. “We have to get used to the idea of him not playing for the rest of the season.”
That game also marked the debut of the recently acquired Goran Dragic. He scored 12 points after being brought over from Phoenix with younger brother Zoran in a three-team deal Thursday. The two had just hours to look over the team’s playbook.
“We have some work to do,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It looked like we were strangers out there. We can fix that.”READ MORE: Keep An Eye Out For Fake GoFundMe Scams Claiming To Help Fallen Officer Yandy Chirino
Spoelstra’s team is trying to maintain a one-half game lead over eighth-place Brooklyn and one-game leads over Detroit, Indiana and Charlotte and will face two of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams in its next two games in Philadelphia (12-43) and Orlando.
The 76ers extended their season-high road losing streak to nine games with a 103-98 defeat to the Magic on Sunday, their third in a row overall. They cut a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to one with 1:37 remaining but would get no closer in their second game since making a flurry of moves at Thursday’s trading deadline.
Philadelphia sent one of its leading scorers and reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee in a three-team deal that netted a projected first-round draft pick. The 76ers also got another protected first-round draft pick and JaVale McGee from Denver then a second-round pick and Isaiah Canaan from Houston for K.J. McDaniels.
Philadelphia, which entered Sunday leading the NBA with 33.7 drives per game, made 13 shots from 3-point range, second-most this season, and tied its second-most attempts from beyond the arc (34).
“That’s the skill set of some of our new people,” coach Brett Brown said. “We were the NBA’s best team at attacking the rim, so all the sudden we have to flip the switch and put up as many 3s as we did. It’s a learning experience for all of us and it’s not like we’ve got a week of practices to fix things. That’s the NBA.”
New-look Philadelphia seeks a fourth win in six meetings with the Heat after winning 91-87 at Miami on Dec. 23 behind Carter-Williams’ 20 points.
The Heat took a 114-96 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 1, with Bosh scoring a game-high 30. Mario Chalmers scored 20 points off the bench and is averaging 17.3 in his last four games – 6.3 better than his season average.
Dragic scored 10 points in each of his two games against Philadelphia this season. He had a season-high 10 rebounds in a home victory for Phoenix on Jan. 2.MORE NEWS: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
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