The Miami Heat will play the second of their four-game road trip against the Atlanta Hawks Saturday evening in the first leg of a back-to-back, hoping to keep their three-game winning streak alive.
After beginning the season 1-4, the Heat have rattled off three straight wins against the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers and, most recently, the Memphis Grizzlies. Though Saturday’s contest will be without two of their best offensive players in Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler.
Herro suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain in Wednesday’s 108-102 win over the Grizzlies. He will be in a walking boot for 10 days and won’t be re-evaluated in two weeks; thus, he will likely miss the next 3-4 weeks of action. Butler will also be absent tonight with a personal family, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reported Saturday morning.
Jimmy Butler is not in Atlanta and will miss tonight’s game vs. Hawks because of personal family reasons. Butler could possibly return for tomorrow’s game in San Antonio.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) November 11, 2023
The Heat currently own the fourth-worst offense leaguewide, posting 107.5 points per 100 possessions, but sink to by far the worst offensive in the league when Herro’s not on the floor. The absence of Butler doesn’t help mitigate matters much, either.
The Hawks, who are 5-3 with head coach Quin Snyder in his first full season with the organization, have the fifth-best offense and the No. 19 defense–equating to the ninth-best NET Rating (4.4) to the Heat’s -minus-2.1 NET (18th). Atlanta’s coming off a thrilling 120-119 win over the Orlando Magic in Mexico City Thursday.
The last time Miami and Altanta squared off was in the play-in tournament last April, where the Hawks earned a 116-105 win after corralling 22 offensive rebounds–including 14 in the second half. Miami went 3-1 against Atlanta in the regular season, with its lone loss coming in Atlanta on Jan. 16 (121-113).
Can Miami earn its fourth straight win, even without Butler and Herro? It’s not going to be easy, but it is doable.
- Jimmy Butler (personal) — OUT
- R.J. Hampton (two-way) — OUT
- Tyler Herro (ankle) — OUT
- Nikola Jovic (illness) — PROBABLE
- Caleb Martin (knee) — OUT
- Kobe Bufkin (thumb) — OUT
- Mouhamed Gueye (back) — OUT
- Seth Lundy (two-way) — OUT
- Wesley Matthews (calf) — QUESTIONABLE
- Miles Norris (two-way) — OUT
Projected Starting 5:
- Kyle Lowry, G
- Duncan Robinson, G/F
- Jaime Jaquez Jr., F
- Haywood Highsmith, F
- Bam Adebayo, C
- Trae Young, G
- Dejounte Murray, G
- DeAndre Hunter, F
- Jalen Johnson, F
- Clint Capela, C
Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):
- Hawks -7 (-108)
- O/U: 225.5 (O: -110; U: -110)
- ML: Hawks -270, Heat +220
Lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.