San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat Preview
In an interconference matchup tonight, the San Antonio Spurs travel to South Beach for their first game in the regular-season series with the Miami Heat. The Spurs have handed three of the top four contenders losses in the past week, and they’ll be going for the fourth team tonight.
Miami is in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 27-12 record. They are on a two-game skid and are 6-4 in their last ten games. While those could all be negatives for the Heat entering tonight’s game, they are playing at AmericanAirlines Arena, where the Heat have the best home record in the league at 17-1.
The Spurs got bumped from the eight spot in the Western Conference. They are ninth in the West with a 17-21 record, won their last game, are 6-4 in their last ten games, but have struggled on the road with a 6-12 record.
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Channel: FSSW-SA, FSSUN
Spurs: No injuries
Heat: Justise Winslow (O)
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
Last week was an interesting one for the San Antonio Spurs. After being up and down all season, LaMarcus Aldridge seemed to find his rhythm and DeMar DeRozan has seemed to come on lately as well. They had two big wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, but then lost to the Memphis Grizzlies as Ja Morant went off.
The Spurs seemed to get back on track on Sunday night in a come-from-behind 105-104 win over the Toronto Raptors.
“Once you have that confidence, no matter if you have a slow start, you’re not going to get down on yourself or get frustrated,” DeRozan said after the win. “You know it’s going to come back around. It goes a long way and you can tell when guys have it.”
DeRozan had 25 points in the win, and the Spurs got some much-needed contributions off the bench. Rudy Gay had 15 points, Derrick White added 13 and Patty Mills scored nine.
Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Heat seemed to have the game in hand until the fourth quarter as the Knicks poured in 40 points to Miami’s 27 points. The Heat allowed seven Knicks players to score in double figured, with Julius Randle And RJ Barrett leading the way with 26 and 23 points apiece.
“The season has become real for us, like it becomes real for everybody,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Seasons don’t just go easy all the way through. Like I said, we’ve been able to bail ourselves out with incredible fourth quarters on both sides of the floor but these last couple of games we haven’t been able to defend and our offense dried out and you get the result like this.”
The Heat had a number of double-digit scorers as well, with Jimmy Butler finishing with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists. Rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro added 20 and 15 points apiece, and James Johnson had a big game with 19 points in just 21 minutes off the bench.
Key Player Matchups
DeMar DeRozan vs. Jimmy Butler
DeMar DeRozan has been on a roll lately, and that’s likely why he was named NBA Player of the Week, but he’ll have to deal with the headache that is one of the peskiest perimeter defenders in the league in Jimmy Butler. Butler can obviously also get it done on the offensive end, which is not DeRozan’s strong suit.
LaMarcus Aldridge vs. Bam Adebayo
Ever since LaMarcus Aldridge started stepping out to the three-point like on pick-and-pops, the Spurs’ offense has seemed to flow better, Aldridge is getting into an offensive flow and it unclogs the lane allowing for DeRozan to work in the midrange. Aldridge has been knocking down his threes at an incredibly high percentage, and he’ll be pulling Bam Adebayo away from his comfort zone.
DeMar DeRozan and Jimmy Butler are fantasy standouts for tonight’s game. DeRozan is available for $7.8k on FanDuel and has a projection of 37.36 points tonight. Butler has a salary of $8.8k and is expected to have a big night against the Spurs, projected to finish with 43.49 points.
If you’re looking for value players to round out your roster, look to young guards Dejounte Murray and Kendrick Nunn. Murray gas a salary of $5.5k and with his ability to score, rebound, defend and some passing, he’s projected for 24.61 points. Nunn is a steal at $4.5k and a projection of 25.43 points.
Bet on Matchup
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