Saturday's NBA Guide: Life, Liberty and Dwyane Wade's Pursuit of the Ball

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HEADLINER
Miami at Philadelphia, 7PM ET

A battle between the Heat and 76ers might have been more interesting with Elton Brand around, but it's a probably got more potential for thrilling style with E.B. on the shelf. Miami's gambling, steal-heavy defense (led by Dwayne Wade) should create some real dissonance with the driving, slashing Philly offense, led by the Andres Miller and Iguodala.


There's also the matter of the playoff race. It seems that both teams are safely nestled in the middle seeds in the East; as such, the potential for 4-5 jostling is huge. Never mind the possible home-court advantage situation -- the No. 6 team in the East will likely have to face a great Orlando team. It seems certain the only lower seed in the East with the potential to get to the second round is whoever sits in spot No. 5.

UNDERCARD
Chicago at Dallas, 8:30PM ET

The Mavericks were embarrassed by Utah on Thursday -- just a complete beatdown, head to toe. (The Jazz then went on to barely scrape by the league-worst Kings the next night.) The Bulls are still trying to figure out if they have something, anything, all while (we assume) John Paxson makes calls on all the stars purported to be up for grabs. There's a distinct chance Chicago finishes off this trade season with a dominant big man for the next half-decade, and potentially a shot at May noise this season.

But, since this is Paxson, there's also a distinct chance the roster looks identical next month.

L.A. Clippers at Atlanta, 7PM ET
Denver at New Jersey, 7:30PM ET
Toronto at Memphis, 8PM ET
Detroit at Milwaukee, 8:30PM ET
Minnesota at Houston, 8:30PM ET

Saturday's NBA Guide: Life, Liberty and Dwyane Wade's Pursuit of the Ball originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Sat, 07 Feb 2009 17:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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