Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Prediction
Miami has put together an impressive six-game winning streak after losing four of its first five games. The Heat are currently one of the hottest (pun intended) teams in the NBA; however, is their streak actually that impressive? Let’s dig into it further.
The teams that the Heat have played have been subpar: Charlotte, San Antonio, Atlanta, Memphis, Washington, and Los Angeles (Lakers) do not exactly represent the best teams in the NBA. Their combined record thus far in the season is 22-41, with four of those six opponents ranking in the bottom five in winning percentage.
During that stretch, the Heat boast a net rating of 5.6, which is the eighth-best rating in that span; they are playing well, but it is not exceptional basketball. For further context, the Nets have the 12th-best net rating in their past six games, and they have had to play the Boston Celtics twice and the Bucks, Wizards, Magic, and Clippers once.
Let’s call Miami’s hot streak a combination of Bam Adebayo’s exceptional play (roughly 25 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists in his past five games) and an easy stretch of the schedule.
While Brooklyn will miss Cam Thomas and Ben Simmons in the coming games, it returned Cameron Johnson to the lineup, and he posted 20 points in just his second game back. Mikal Bridges and Spencer Dinwiddie are also more than capable of getting hot from the floor, evidenced by their combined 50 points against the Magic on Tuesday night.
Sure, Bam Adebayo will have mismatches all night long and should put up huge numbers offensively, but he still requires a lot of volume to score, whereas some players can put up 10-12 shots and still finish with 25 points. The key for Brooklyn is to let Bam “get his,” but shut down the Heat’s perimeter shooting (Miami ranks 10th in 3P%.) Luckily, Brooklyn ranks fifth in opponent 3P% thus far, giving it a solid chance to cover here and, perhaps, steal a road win.
Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Prediction: Brooklyn +4
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Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Best Odds
Brooklyn enters its matchup against the Heat as four-point road dogs. The Nets have moneyline odds of +150, while Miami has odds of -180 to win outright. Currently, the point total for this bout is at 217.5 points, which would normally be a relatively lower number if the Heat weren’t one of the teams playing.
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Injuries
Brooklyn will miss two key players for at least another week. Ben Simmons (hip) and Cam Thomas (ankle) are listed as out for the Nets’ matchup against Miami.
Meanwhile, the Heat won’t have R.J. Hampton (knee) or Tyler Herro (ankle.) Herro suffered an ankle sprain against the Memphis Grizzlies and will be re-evaluated soon. Both teams have a few key injuries that could impact the outcome of this game.
Brooklyn Nets Vs. Miami Heat Key Matchups
Based on Bam Adebayo’s recent play, the key matchup for the Nets vs. Heat game will be Adebayo versus the Brooklyn Frontcourt. Take a look at the full analysis below!
Bam Adebayo vs. Brooklyn Frontcourt
Bam Adebayo has been on a tear over his past five games, averaging roughly 25 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and nearly four “stocks” per game on 53% shooting from the field. Adebayo has stepped up after a slow start for the Heat and, in the process, has led them to six consecutive wins.
Adebayo has been arguably the best center in the NBA during that stretch, not named Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic, which gives him an advantage over nearly every frontcourt that he plays against for our key matchup. It just so happens that the Nets are one of the smallest frontcourts in the NBA and have historically had issues on the glass (30th last season in rebounding rate) and opponent second-chance points (25th in the NBA last season.)
Brooklyn rolls out 6-foot-7 forward Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-foot-8 forward Cameron Johnson, and 6-foot-9 center Nic Claxton in its starting frontcourt, and none of them are particularly imposing physically. This gives Adebayo a substantial strength advantage in and around the paint. Even Day’Ron Sharpe (6-foot-9) does not have a size or length advantage over Adebayo, which is necessary to limit his output on the glass. Advantage: Bam.