The Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets will look to entertain just before the calendar flips to 2023, as they go lock horns this Saturday. Will the Heat win their third-straight game? Or, will the Nuggets rebound from a loss with a big win over a legitimate playoff contender?
Catch this game live on Saturday, December 31, at 10 AM, Manila time
Away: Miami Heat (18-17/7-9 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyle Lowry
- SG: Tyler Herro
- SF: Jimmy Butler (probable)
- PF: Caleb Martin (questionable)
- C: Bam Adebayo
Fresh off thumping the Los Angeles Lakers in a 112-98 win in South Beach Thursday, the Heat will kick off a five-game road trip in Mile High City this Saturday. The Heat are below .500 in games away from home this season overall but are 5-4-1 against the spread in their last 10 contests in enemy territories.
Plus, they have won all their last four road games, so it appears that Jimmy Butler and company are starting to pick things up when they’re away from FTX Arena. Speaking of Butler, he is listed probably for the Denver game but he should be able to give it a go. Butler is averaging 22.0 points, 5.7 assists, and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 53.7 FG% this season.
Miami doesn’t score a bunch of points, but its defense is arguably the best in the league, with the Heat allowing just 108.9 points per game.
Home: Denver Nuggets (22-12/12-3 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokić
Denver has cooled off a bit after losing to the Sacramento Kings Thursday on the road, 127-126, but make no mistake about it, the Nuggets are still one of the best teams in the NBA right now. Prior to their defeat at the hands of Sacramento, the Nuggets won five games in a row – a stretch that also saw them beat the likes of the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns.
With Nikola Jokic playing like an MVP again as the focal point of the offense, the Nuggets have become one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA this season, averaging 116.2 points per game to go with an elite 57.4 eFG% and 50.6 FG%. On the season, Jokic is averaging 25.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 9.4 assists per game while posting a ridiculous 68.8 TS%. And he’s good at rebounding too, which would be a problem for Miami.
Denver, which is fifth in the NBA with a 51.8 REB%, is 4-1 against the spread in its last five home games versus the Heat.
Spread: The Nuggets (-4.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (223.5) hits the Under.