GAME PREVIEW: Miami Heat look to extend winning streak with an early weekend game in Utah

Miami is riding a 4 game winning streak and looking to extend it to 5 against the Utah Jazz

Game story:

The banged up, but 19-12, 4th seeded Miami Heat begin the second game of their 5 game West Coast trip with a matchup against the Utah Jazz. Utah is 13-19 and coming off a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans the other night.

The Heat have won 4 straight games and 7 out of their last 10.

Erik Spoelstra has done a marvelous job, like he does year in and year out, with managing these injuries and different players being in and out of the rotations.

Miami leads the league in different starting lineups but Coach Spoelstra still finds a way to get it done with whoever he has available.

A lot of that is clearly because of the depth, as the Heat are one of the top teams in the league in bench points.

Jamal Cain, RJ Hampton and Nikola Jovic all stepped up in the Heat’s last win in Golden State. With an even more loaded injury report than last game heading into this evening, all 3 of those guys should be expected to get some more reps in.

Cain and Jovic affected the game on both ends of the court and Hampton provided some nice playmaking filling in for the injured Kyle Lowry.

Kevin Love has also done a terrific job at holding down that back up center position, doing a lot in limited minutes each night.

Lowry is dealing with soreness still and is listed as Questionable.

Jimmy Butler, Josh Richardson, and now Jaime Jaquez Jr are all questionable as well.

Jaquez Jr is dealing with an illness, and found himself on the injury report for the first time this season.

Caleb Martin is doubtful with an ankle injury.

A huge reason for the Heat being able to pick up these undermanned wins is the anchor defense of Bam Adebayo, who is making another case in his early career for Defensive Player of the Year.

Adebayo is going to be doing a lot of defensive carrying tonight dealing with the long and lengthy front court trio of John Collins, Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler.

The Jazz play 3 big men in the same starting group, and no matter what their record is that size can always cause problems for any team.

Especially Miami, who has adopted over the years to playing small ball.

Today’s early Saturday game will tip off at 5:00 PM ET on Bally Sports Florida.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Duncan Robinson (ankle) — Probable
  • Jimmy Butler (calf) — Questionable
  • Kyle Lowry (soreness) — Questionable
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr. (illness) — Questionable
  • Josh Richardson (back) — Questionable
  • Caleb Martin (ankle) — Doubtful
  • Orlando Robinson (g league) — OUT
  • Cole Swider (g league) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT

Utah Jazz:

  • Josh Christopher (g league) — OUT
  • Taylor Hendricks (g league) — OUT
  • Johnny Juzang (g league) — OUT
  • Micah Potter (g league) — OUT
  • Brice Sensabaugh (g league) — OUT

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr, F
  • Haywood Highsmith, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Utah Jazz:

  • Kris Dunn, G
  • Collin Sexton, G
  • John Collins, F
  • Lauri Markkanen, F
  • Walker Kessler, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 5:00 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)

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