Philadelphia 76ers: Can the Sixers Pull an Upset on the Miami Heat?

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IApril 15, 2011

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 25:  Guard Andr Iguodala #9  and Guard Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia Sixers argue with the referee against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on March 25, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Sixers 111-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

First off, no matter what happens in this series, I will consider this season a success for the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Sixers had a horrific season last year, led by former head coach Eddie Jordan. The so-called “Princeton offense” didn’t work out as planned, and the players did not like the system. They finished the year with a record of 25-57.

Then, the start of this season came along, a new coach in Doug Collins was at the helm and fans felt that this young team could make a little noise. But suddenly, the Sixers had a 3-13 start, and things were looking like another bad season.

However, things started to turn around, and before fans knew it, the Sixers were as high as chasing the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed. Elton Brand rejuvenated himself, Doug Collins is in talks for a possible Coach of the Year award and the Sixers are one of the hottest young teams in the league, finishing the season on a 38-28 run (41-41 overall).

Now, they find themselves in the playoffs facing off against one of the best teams in the league and arguably the best team out there. But one question has sat in the back of Sixers fans minds—do they stand a chance against the star-studded Heat?

The Sixers have lost against them all three times they played, but they have put up a fight in the past.

Many analysts and writers are generally predicting a sweep of the Heat to win in just five games. Logically and most likely, this will happen. But this made me wonder—what are the chances for the Sixers to pull a dramatic upset?

The Heat have the better starting lineup, but the Sixers bench is by far one of the best in the league, and Collins is the better coach over Erik Spoelstra.

But still, the right players need to step up, including Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday. If Holiday outplays Mike Bibby and Iguodala can play some shutdown defense on LeBron, there could be a chance that the Sixers bring the series to Game 6 or even 7.

Jodie Meeks’ shot needs to be 100 percent to fulfill the absence of Lou Williams, and Brand needs to do a good job on the boards and fighting off Chris Bosh.

The Heat have shown throughout the season that they can break down. They are hit or miss, really.

If the Sixers catch them on a cold night in Miami, then anything can happen. The littlest thing that happens in a game can change an entire series.

It’s a long shot, but if the chips fall the Sixers' way and the players who need to step up exceed their duties, then the Sixers could find themselves upsetting one of the best teams in the league (I know I’m banking on a lot here).

But hey, anything is possible.