GAME PREVIEW: Heat to play first road back to back of the season against the Timberwolves

The Miami Heat are coming off a hard fought loss in TD Garden against the Boston Celtics going into tonight’s matchup.

On the second night of a back to back, Miami will head to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves.

Miami hasn’t won in a while in Minnesota, but the squad will try to change that narrative tonight with a bounce back win hoping to improve to 2-1 on the season.

Last night’s game featured an undermanned Heat against one of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference at full strength. Caleb Martin was initially listed as probable to play last night, but was downgraded to out closer to tip-off. Josh Richardson and Haywood Highsmith still remained out. All three of those guys are important rotation pieces.

It is yet to be seen what the injury report is looking like for tonight, but it is expected for Highsmith and J-Rich to be unavailable.

Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo both had nice outings yesterday. Herro finished with a team high 28 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists on 10/19 shooting. Adebayo had 27 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks on 10/24 shooting. They both started hot, but did cool down towards the end of the game.

Jimmy Butler on the other hand only contributed 14 points and struggled to shoot the ball going 3/11 on the night. It is clear that Butler is in regular season mode. However, it would be nice to at least see something similar to last season in the sense of him coasting through most regular season minutes but still being the closer come crunch time.

A huge note going into tonight is the bounce back performance from Kyle Lowry. He put together a nice outing in Boston and was a spark at points during the game. The starting PG finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists on 5/7 shooting and three 3 point makes.

Contributions like that is really all they need coming out of Lowry. To just be involved offensively and shoot efficiently is more than solid for him and his role on this team. Now it just comes down to if he can put that together more consistently, especially if he is going to remain as a starter.

Miami will have their hands full tonight with the Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combo.

Edwards is a guy who can absolutely light up and explode offensively on any given night. Depending on Martin’s availability, his perimeter defense could be a big factor for tonight.

They also need to keep Towns and Rudy Gobert off the glass, more so for offensive rebounds and extra possessions for Minnesota.

Kevin Love should continue being a help in that department alongside Adebayo in the frontcourt. Love has rebounded the ball very well in his first games of the season as the starting PF. He will continue to get limited minutes just because of his age and role, but he has been very effective as a floor spacer, rebounder and outlet passer in those minutes just like he was in the playoffs.

Coach Spoelstra has been opting to go with the savy veteran starters in Lowry and Love for the closing lineups as well, rounding out the big three of Buter, Herro and Adebayo.

Any of Martin, Highsmith and Josh Richardson could get some closing minutes once they are integrated back into the rotation.

Tonight’s game will be aired on Bally Sports Florida and set to tip off at 8:00 PM ET.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • NOT YET SUBMITTED

Minnesota Timberwolves:

  • Jaylen Clark (achilles) — OUT
  • Jaden McDaniels (calf) — Doubtful

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Kevin Love, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Minnesota Timberwolves:

  • Mike Conley, G
  • Anthony Edwards, G
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G/F
  • Karl-Anthony Towns, F/C
  • Rudy Gobert, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 8:00 PM EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!

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SunManFromDogBone

This sucks!

ManilaHeat

The seniors…I mean vets are shelved for this game lol. Ty might need to go supernova coz Bam will find it hard to operate in the paint. Go Heat!

Deadsori(Vincent Quitoiano)

Just red the injury report. Hopefully Herro,Lowry and Bam can keep the offense going with high fg percentage since our defense will suffer without our defensive players

Need for the the bench to step up and Jovic should play today to replace Love. This is Jovic time to shine. Jamal Cain can replace Butler as a two way and prove himself. I also want to see JJJ have more minutes to show us what he can do.

Next man up. Lets make it 2-1. Lets go Heat!!

Last edited 5 months ago by Deadsori(Vincent Quitoiano)
Zachary Kap

And it starts. A game after a tough loss, Miami is already starting its rest rotation. No Butler, Love on top of Martin, Richardson and Highsmight. It’s been so hard to tell what this team is made of when they spend 82 games of load management, before trying to turn it on in the playoffs.

Worked in 2019, 2021, and 2022. It didn’t 2020 albeit an outlier due to a short off season ended up being a pretty disappointing team.

Hopefully we can see more of Jaquez than the 13 or so minutes he played in each of the first two, given the Heat’s significant missions pieces tonight. Also wouldn’t mind seeing Jovic for some height after starting the first two games -12 in the rebounding department.

All in all there have been signs this team is as good as last year, with some nice bench minutes from Bryant and Jaquez in game 1, and Smith in game two and Duncan in both…but ultimately feels like it’s going to be a middling regular season where they hope they can catch magic (given the age, rest and health of the squad overall).

vagibugi

so jovic and jaime in starting lineup instead of Love and Butler.. Cain will get minutes too, maybe even ORob… i cant wait to see this

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