Two of the hottest teams right now in the NBA will be locking horns down in South Beach on Wednesday morning, as Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks take on Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat.
Catch this game live on Wednesday, February 16, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Dallas Mavericks (33-24/13-13 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Spencer Dinwiddie
- SG: Luka Doncic
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleber
- C: Dwight Powell
It might be too early to tell and the sample size is still small, but Luka Doncic looked a ton better now that Kristaps Porzingis is no longer in Dallas. The Slovenian superstar has wreaked havoc since the NBA Trade Deadline, exploding for 51 points in a 112-105 win against the LA Clippers last Friday and dropping 45 points against the same opponent, albeit in a 99-97 loss at home last Sunday. The Mavericks are hoping that Doncic will be at least anywhere near that form when they take on Miami on the road Wednesday.
Dallas has some new guys to help Doncic out, with Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans expected to make their Mavs debuts in this upcoming contest. Dinwiddie isn’t having a particularly good season, but a change in scenery could be just what he needs to pick things up. Plus, he makes the Mavs’ backcourt deeper. Bertans isn’t the rim protector Porzingis is, but he’s a sweet-shooting big man Doncic would love to get the ball to for open shots from deep. Dallas lost to the Heat back in November at home, 125-110, with Doncic scoring 33 points and Jalen Brunson adding 25. The Mavs are 8-1 against the spread in their last nine games after a loss.
Home: Miami Heat (37-20/19-6 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyle Lowry
- SG: Duncan Robinson
- SF: Jimmy Butler (questionable)
- PF: PJ Tucker
- C: Bam Adebayo
The Heat stayed hot after defeating the Brooklyn Nets last Sunday at home, 115-111, for their five-game undefeated streak. Miami fed off the brilliance of its well-balanced attack that had seven players finishing with at least 10 points. Bam Adebayo led the crew with 19 points, whale Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro powered the bench with a combined output of 26 points. But it’s the holy Heat triumvirate of Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo that’s the biggest threat to Dallas.
After all, the three punished the Mavericks in the aforementioned November meeting, as they scored 67 of Miami’s 125 points. Speaking of Herro, he came off the bench in that game for 25 points, so in the event that Butler gets ultimately ruled out for this rematch against Dallas, Miami knows that the former Kentucky Wildcat is someone who can help fill Butler’s void. Look for Miami to push the pace faster than it’s used to in this contest, as the Heat had success doing that in the initial meeting with the Mavs, outsourcing Dallas in transition, 48-38. Miami is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games overall.
Spread: What Doncic is doing is unsustainable plus the Mavs might need a bit more time to be completely on the same page with their new pieces. Taking the Heat to cover (-2.5) here.
Over/Under: The first meeting was a high scoring one despite these two teams’ relatively slow paces. That said, given that result, taking the Over (210.5) for this rematch seems to be the safer pick.