GAME PREVIEW: Heat host Hawks on Udonis Haslem’s jersey retirement night

Heat Hawks
The Heat have bested the Hawks in four straight meetings entering Friday. (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

After arguably their worst game of the season against the Toronto Raptors Wednesday, the Miami Heat return home to play host to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. EST inside Kaseya Center.

Friday also marks the night that former 20-year Heat veteran Udonis Haslem will get his No. 40 retired in the rafters. Haslem, the quintessential embodiment of #HEATCulture™, will join Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning Tim Hardaway, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade as the only Heat players to have their jerseys retired by the organization.

Haslem is the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder, averaging 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds as a crucial member to the Heat’s only three championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013. Though is impact served way beyond what he did on the court, providing endless mentorship to those around the organization as well as being a tremendous philanthropist throughout South Florida, where Haslem was born and raised.

Wednesday’s loss to the Raptors snapped a three-game Heat winning streak, which came against the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets. Miami is winners of five of its last six and six of its last eight inside Kaseya Center, including a 122-113 win over the Hawks on Dec. 22.

The Hawks are 17-23 and are currently the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls for the No. 9 seed and one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 11 seed. They are coming off a buzzer-beating 106-104 win against the Orlando Magic Wednesday, where guard Dejounte Murray–who’s been involved in plenty of trade discussion of late–sunk a game-winning pull-up jumper as time expired.

At the halfway point of the 2023-24 season, the Heat is currently the No. 6 seed at 24-17 with a 0.8 NET Rating–sporting the 20th-best offense with the 10th-best defense. They have bested the Hawks twice this season and in each of their last four meetings.

Will Miami keep that streak alive and start its second half off well on Udonis Haslem night? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Jamal Cain (G-League) — OUT
  • R.J. Hampton (G-League) — OUT
  • Jaime Jaquez Jr. (groin) — DOUBTFUL
  • Kevin Love (knee) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT

Atlanta Hawks:

  • Kobe Bufkin (G-League) — OUT
  • Mouhamed Gueye (back) — OUT
  • De’Andre Hunter (knee) — OUT
  • Vit Krejci (shoulder) — OUT
  • Wesley Matthews (calf) — OUT
  • Trae Young (illness) — QUESTIONABLE

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Tyler Herro, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Nikola Jovic, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Atlanta Hawks:

  • Trae Young, G (if he plays)
  • Dejounte Murray, G
  • Saddiq Bey, F
  • Jalen Johnson, F
  • Clint Capela, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

  • Spread: Heat -6.5
  • O/U: 227
  • Moneyline: Hawks +205, Heat -250

Check out those lines and more at Fanduel Sportsbook!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 8:00 p.m. EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun
  • 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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