At a quick glance, the upcoming Sixers-Heat series doesn’t seem to have a lot of context. On the surface, it’s just a favored, NBA juggernaut against a surprising underdog. There’s no rivalry here, or any history between the two teams. This is just a two seed against a seven seed in a typical Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup. However, this series means a lot more than meets the eye.
This is David vs. Goliath, good vs. evil, Rocky Balboa vs. that big Russian guy.
This is a team with no All-Stars, against a team that has a starting lineup full of them. This is a team that got bumped off SportsCenter’s rundown for Albert Pujols (true story) vs. a team that is inescapable from Sportscenter, has their own tab on ESPN.com called “The Heat Index”, and their own section in USA Today called “The Heat Wave.”
This isn’t a team that won through the draft, through teamwork, and through defense, vs. a team that, well, let’s whisper this one so no one gets offended; they were bought.
This is nitty-gritty vs. glitz and glamor. This is Will Smith vs. Lil Wayne. Okay, scratch that last one.
So as you can see this is more than just a first round series. This is the ultimate underdog story waiting to unfold in a city full of underdogs. The country has already crowned the Heat the winners of this series, and I am sure the Heat have already crowned themselves too. Just like the national media, they have no respect for the Sixers, and why should they? They are the Miami Heat, the kings of ESPN, lead by Mr. King James, himself. If the Sixers are picked to lose this series in more than five games, I’ll be shocked.
So, as Adrian told Rocky, there’s one thing I want you to do for me, Sixers.
Follow Christian Hetrick on Twitter: @Hetric55