The Brooklyn Nets are 2-0 against the Miami Heat and will be gunning hard for a regular season series sweep. Can Jimmy Butler’s debut opposite the superteam Nets prevent it?
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HOME TEAM: Miami Heat (28-28, 15-13 at home)
Projected Starting Five
- PG – Kendrick Nunn
- SG – Duncan Robinson
- SF – Jimmy Butler
- PF – Trevor Ariza
- C – Bam Adebayo
Well, the most consistently inconsistent team in the league is at it again. The Heat have now dropped three-straight games following Saturday’s 119-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s the ninth time they have won or lost three or more consecutive outings this season.
The slightly good news, however, is the Heat are back in South Beach tomorrow. They are 3-1 in their last four home games and have scored 110-plus points in each of those contests.
Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and most of the guys are playing in their usual form, and can be expected to perform as such again. The major exception there is Tyler Herro, who’s been building quite the castle with his bricks – he’s at 6.3 PPG on a woeful 26.6% shooting in his last three.
The Heat are 0-2 against the Nets this season. They met twice in a three-day span in late January, and Miami lost 98-85 and 128-124. Adebayo scored a career-high 41 points on 14-for-20 shooting in the latter meeting but it still wasn’t enough. Butler was sidelined on both occasions, though, so we’ll see how much he’ll move the needle.
Miami has lost five-straight ATS.
AWAY TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (38-18, 15-11 on the road)
Projected Starting Five
- PG – Kyrie Iving
- SG – Joe Harris
- SF – Kevin Durant
- PF – Jeff Green
- C – DeAndre Jordan
The Nets will come in having alternated wins and losses in a five-game span. They are coming off a 130-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets, however, which may help in their momentum.
The superstar trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving played in the two previous meetings with the Heat, and it had interesting results. Harden was non-existent while Durant and Irving showed out in the first encounter, and it flipped in the second go-around – KD and Kyrie collectively shot 12-for-38 and The Beard went for an efficient 20 points and eight assists on 7-for-10 shooting.
It’s anyone’s guess which combination of the three will provide damage tomorrow – maybe they’ll all explode this time. No one even knows who among them will play. They’ve been together for over three months now and they’ve only shared the floor for seven games. For now, Durant and Irving are the most likely to play as Harden has missed the last five games with an ailing hamstring.
Whichever it may be, expect the Nets’ second-ranked offense (119 PPG) to keep pushing and for the supporting cast to be very unpredictable. Anyone between Joe Harris, Landry Shamet, Jeff Green, Bruce Bowen, among others, can be the main back-up.
The Nets have won three-straight ATS.
The Nets (-5) can score in bunches in no time, and the Heat have been losing ATS as of late. Brooklyn should be able to cover.
Nets games have gone over five of the last six times, while Heat games have gone over in six of its last eight. Go with over 224.5.