Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks Preview
Two of the NBA’s biggest surprises meet on Saturday in an interconference matchup. The Miami Heat come into the game with an 18-7 record after falling to the LA Lakers on Friday night 113-110. That was the Heat’s first loss of the season at home. Miami has struggled on the road this season as they are only 7-6 so far this season away from home.
As for the Mavericks, they are 17-7 on the season and last played on Thursday as Dallas won 122-111 over the Detroit Pistons in Mexico City. The Mavericks have been dominant lately having won 11 of their last 13 games which includes wins over the Houston Rockets, LA Lakers, and Toronto Raptors. Dallas is 8-5 at home this season.
This is the first of two meetings this season between the teams and they won’t play again until February 28.
Time: 8:30 PM ET
Arena: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Channel: FSSUN, FSSW-DAL
Heat: Goran Dragic (O), Justise Winslow (O), Dion Waiters (O)
Mavericks: Delon Wright (GTD)
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Miami Heat come into Saturday’s game playing their second game of a back-to-back. Miami was defeated 113-110 on Friday by the LA Lakers after Jimmy Butler’s game-tying three missed.
The loss dropped the Heat to a full game behind the 76ers for second in the Eastern Conference. Miami has a seven-game lead in their division as the Southeast Division only has one team over .500 with that being the Heat.
Miami has been led this season by Jimmy Butler as he is averaging 20.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game. In the loss to the Lakers, Butler had 23-3-3 while shooting 9-20 from the field. Bam Adebayo, who has been a huge part of Miami’s early-season success, had 12-12-5.
The Heat have won six of their last eight games and have a record of 5-5 vs the West.
Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup
The Dallas Mavericks have won 11 of their last 13 and after each of their last two losses they followed them up by winning their next five games. The Mavericks bounced back after losing Sunday to the Sacramento Kings by beating the Detroit Pistons Thursday in Mexico City.
The Mavericks 17-7 record is currently the third-best record in the West.
Luka Doncic was the star Thursday for the Mavericks as he finished with 41 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. It was Doncic’s eighth triple-double of the season. He is averaging 30.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 9.3 assists per game.
Doncic is the only player in the NBA to rank in the top 15 in both points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game. His play this season has been MVP worthy despite this only being his second season in the NBA.
The Mavericks also saw Kristaps Porzingis have a good outing vs the Pistons as he had 20 points and eight rebounds. It was his first time since scoring 20 or more points since November 24.
Dallas is 8-5 at home this season and 6-3 vs the East.
Key Player Matchups
Luka Doncic vs Kendrick Nunn
Kendrick Nunn will have his hands full Saturday as he tries to stop one of the NBA’s hottest players. Doncic is a legit MVP candidate and has been outstanding lately. Doncic has surprisingly been slightly better on the road than at home as his averages in home games are 29.9-9.7-9 while shooting 47.1% compared to 31.0-10.2-9.5 and shooting 49.3% on the road.
Nunn had 16 points and seven assists against the Lakers on Friday.
Tim Hardaway Jr vs Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has been a perfect fit for the Heat this season as he is leading the team in points, assists, and steals. Butler has been having a great December as he’s scored at least 20 in every game while averaging 25.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game during the month.
Hardaway Jr. will have to deal with Butler on both ends as he is averaging 2.1 steals per game as well. Hardaway Jr. is coming off of a rough two-point performance vs Detroit on 1-6 shooting.
As for daily fantasy, there are three players in the Miami-Dallas game projected to score over 43 fantasy points and they are Doncic, Butler, and Adebayo. Doncic is projected to score 59.1 (he cost $12k), Butler is projected to score 43.6 (cost $9.4k) and Adebayo is projected to score 44.1 (cost $8.1k).
If you are interested in a cheaper option in the game then consider Kristaps Porzingis who is projected to finish with 37.8 points while only costing $6.6k on FanDuel.
Bet on Matchup
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