GAME PREVIEW: Heat open in-season tournament against Wizards, hope to snap four-game skid

Heat
The Miami Heat have lost four of their first five games. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Miami Heat open the first inaugural 2023-24 in-season tournament Friday against the Washington Wizards.

It will mark the second of a three-game homestand for the Heat inside the Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla. The Heat is in the midst of a four-game losing streak–with losses to the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks and, most recently, the Brooklyn Nets–after a one-point win over the Detroit Pistons opening night.

The Wizards enter the contest 1-3, including two consecutive losses to the Celtics and Atlanta Hawks. Since Friday marks the first day of the first-ever in-season tournament, this will be both team’s first game in Group B in the Eastern Conference Bracket.

Group B also consists of the Bucks, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets; every team will play each other once (two games on the road, two at home) through Nov. 28. The winner of the group will advance to the Final Eight, plus one wild card team from each conference.

Friday also marks the debut of the Heat’s new city edition uniforms, as well as the new in-season tournament court!

Miami blew a 16-point first-half lead in Wednesday’s home collapse, getting outscored 34-22 in the final quarter. In fourth quarters this season, the Heat have gotten outscored by 21 points, only trailing the Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns for the worst fourth quarter point differential leaguewide.

Miami currently possesses the worst record in the Eastern Conference with the 8th-worst NET Rating across the NBA–owning the 5th-worst offense with the 17th-best defense. Conversely, the Wizards own the NBA’s second-worst NET Rating, including the 19th-best offensive rating and the third-worst defensive rating.

Can the Heat snap their four-game skid and get back on track? Only time will tell!

 

Injury Report:

Miami Heat:

  • Jimmy Butler (knee) — PROBABLE
  • Caleb Martin (knee) — OUT

Washington Wizards:

  • Corey Kispert (ankle) — OUT

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

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

Washington Wizards:

  • Tyus Jones, G
  • Jordan Poole, G
  • Deni Avdija, F
  • Kyle Kuzma, F
  • Daniel Gafford, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

  • Heat -8.5 (-112)
  • O/U: 224 (O: -110; U: -110)
  • ML: Heat -375, Wizards +300

Lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

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SunManFromDogBone

Second worst record in the NBA! Can’t go much lower! Time to wake tf up or this team gonna need an enema!

heat for life

if wembayama was in the next draft i d say go wiz.wow what a fn player he is.was watching utah orlando last night and good old yert was getting pt and looking good like he did when bam was injured.

2qbn

I’m going out on a limb and saying we look good for 3 quarters, go cold in the 4th, but this time we make a couple shots under 4 minutes and get the monkey off their back.

Big_guy305

Definitely need this win in bad way, so I say we win this by double double digits, or close to it, and gain some of our confidence back.

Reality czech

If they lose tonight I’m gonna start looking at mock drafts for 2024. Haha

vagibugi

Its time to win one. 1-5. and I m saying trade them all-

ManilaHeat

not an L vs the wizards. pls? go Heat

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