Miami Heat at Houston Rockets Preview
The Southeast Division-leading Miami Heat will be on the road tonight in the Lone Star state as they matchup against the Houston Rockets. The Heat are 12-4 on the season, which currently has them at second in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are looking to start a winning streak tonight after they won their last game. While Miami has been a perfect 7-0 at home, they are 5-4 on the road.
The Houston Rockets have been struggling lately, losing their last three games. The Rockets are 11-6 and fifth in the Western Conference. Luckily for the Rockets, their home court as treated them well as they are 6-2 in the Toyota Center.
The Rockets will be looking to avenge their loss to the Heat earlier this season. On November 3, the Heat, led by Duncan Robinson’s 23 points, rolled past the Rockets 129-100. While James Harden scored 29 points in the game, the Rockets suffered one of their worst losses of the season.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Channel: FSSUN, ATTSN-SW
Heat: Jimmy Butler, Derrick Jones, Justise Winslow, KZ Okpala (O)
Rockets: Clint Capela (Q), Eric Gordon, Nene, Gerald Green (O)
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
While the Heat had their way with Harden and the Rockets earlier this month, coming away with a 32-point lead just at the end of one quarter, the Heat are not taking the Rockets lightly tonight.
“They’re a great basketball team that wants to win games, have home-court advantage and do something in the playoffs,” Heat center Kelly Olynyk said. “They’re playing for a lot more than just to get revenge on us, but they’re not going to take anyone lightly, especially after we beat them. They’re gonna be ready to rock, and we have to be able to match that.”
The Heat suffered a big loss on Saturday to the Philadelphia 76ers 113-86, but they were able to get back in the win column, where they’ve won six of the last seven, with a 117-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo led the way in the game with 21 points apiece. Rookie Kendrick Nunn had 19, and fellow rookie Tyler Herro, played a big role as he has all season with 18 points.
The Heat will need more from those players tonight as Jimmy Butler will be out.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
In order to have a repeat of their first game and continuing this skid, the Rockets need a win tonight, but Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni says his team doesn’t need to be reminded of their mistakes.
“I don’t think we have to,” D’Antoni said. “I think they do know that. We addressed the mistakes we made, especially defensively, so we can be better at it.”
In their last game, the Rockets were bested by the Dallas Mavericks 137-123. The Mavs got out to a blistering start with 78 first-half points. The Rockets tried to battle back but it was too little too late.
“We allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do from the beginning of the game and when you give a team like that comfort, they gain confidence,” Harden told reporters. “And that’s what they did.”
Luka Doncic was too much for the Rockets to handle as he finished with 41 points and 10 assists. All of the Rockets’ starters were able to reach double figures, led by Harden’s 32 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. But Houston’s bench, that went seven deep, only managed a combined 11 points.
Key Player Matchups
James Harden vs. Tyler Herro
Harden and Herro both have absolute flamethrowers for jump shots and it’ll be nice seeing this battle play out. Harden doesn’t exactly play lock-down defense, so Herro should be able to get his shots off, and Harden seems to be able to get his regardless of his opposition.
Russell Westbrook vs. Kendrick Nunn
Kendrick Nunn has been a welcome surprise to the Miami Heat going from relative unknown to starting point guard, usurping Goran Dragic. He’s consistently scoring 20+ points and he’s been able to rack up assists and rebounds as well. In that regard though, Russell Westbrook is on another level. This should be a fun matchup nonetheless. Westbrook isn’t averaging his triple-double, which has become the norm, and that’s likely due to being paired with James Harden, who also usually averages a triple-double, but Westbrook has still been a tough draw for any defender.
Tonight’s fantasy standouts are James Harden and Bam Adebayo. Harden is available for $11.8k on FanDuel. He is projected for a huge night, especially with Jimmy Butler out. He is expected to finish with 66.02 points. Adebayo has a $7.5k salary and is projected for 32.92.
Kendrick Nunn is a value pick in this matchup. He is valued at $5.5k and is projected for 25.26 points. Tyler Herro is also another player that should see a boost if he gets the start tonight.
Bet on Matchup
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