GAME PREVIEW: Heat to play final game of road trip in an NBA Finals rematch against Denver Nuggets

With Tyler Herro listed as questionable again, Duncan Robinson could remain the starter tonight. Robinson is coming off a 17 point outing in the win against Portland on Tuesday night.

The Miami Heat are rolling and in the midst of their best stretch of basketball this season. Miami has won five straight games, six straight road games and 9 of their last 11. They recently just moved from the 8th seed in the East to the 5th seed in the span of 48 hours with a current record of 33-25. They are also just 1.5 games behind the 4th seed New York Knicks.

However, tonight they face the toughest test throughout this entire run by traveling to the Elevation in Colorado to take on the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are the 3 seed in the West, sporting a 40-19 record.

In an NBA Finals rematch, this will be the first game the Heat have played against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets since last June where they lost in game 5.

The Nuggets are 7-3 over their last 10 games and have one of the best home records in the NBA at 23-5. It will be the second night of a back-to-back for them, after defeating the visiting Sacramento Kings last evening 117-96.

Jokic registered a 14/14/11 triple double and Jamal Murray was their box score leader with 32 points and 6 assists.

The Heat are now too familiar with just how deadly the Denver star duo can be, along with their elite supporting cast.

Going into tonight, Miami may not have Tyler Herro, just like in the last Finals in June. Herro is listed as questionable with a hyperextended knee. Terry Rozier returned following his knee injury Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers and tallied 19 points on 50% shooting.

Jimmy Butler, the fifth member of the Fall Out Boys (IYKYK), was the box score leader in the last win with 22 points and 9 assists on 58% shooting.

Kevin Love was listed as questionable yesterday before being downgraded to OUT shortly after with a sore heel. Orlando Robinson was upgraded to probable and should be expected to earn some back up big minutes in Love’s absence.

Let’s see if the Miami Heat can return to the Kaseya Center Saturday going a perfect 6-0 in this current road trip.

Tonight’s late West Coast game will be nationally televised on TNT at 10:00 PM EST.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Orlando Robinson (back) — PROBABLE
  • Tyler Herro (knee) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — OUT
  • Kevin Love (heel) — OUT
  • Thomas Bryant (suspension) — OUT
  • Jamal Cain (g league) — OUT
  • Cole Swider (g league) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (knee) — OUT

Denver Nuggets:


Projected Starting 5 (subject to change):

Miami Heat:

  • Terry Rozier, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Nikola Jovic, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Denver Nuggets:

  • Jamal Murray, G
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G
  • Michael Porter Jr, F
  • Aaron Gordon, F
  • Nikola Jokic, C

Betting Lines:

  • Check the current odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 10:00 PM EST
  • TV: TNT & 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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Lets give Denver their 6th home loss. Fall Out Boy Butler will show the way. Go Heat!


Hope the Nugget’s bigs play. If this game matters much to Spo, it will be a dress rehearsal as to how he plans to play bigger teams during the playoff. However, ff Spo sees the game as just one other regular season game, then he may be trying another experimental rotation of players. No KL tonight, tells me that Spo does not want give out KL’s crucial role during a playoff run.

Max Pain

Ouch! No KLove.

KL was shooting almost 48% from 3 the last 5 games.

That’s a huge loss against the team to beat imo to win the title.

We’re going to miss KL’s floor spreading, rebounding and general old man savviness against this Nugget’s team on their home floor.

I thought we had like a 40% chance to win this game before but without Love I think that chance is down to like 25%.


yikes, with no K-Love, and Bryant suspended, who’s playing backup Center? Maybe we’ll see O-Rob after all


Maybe a little Jovic on Jocic action.


A chance for a statement win.


The Rockets are playing the second game of b2b. The Heat are still without Herro (possibly), Richardson and now Love. The good thing is the team has depth at most positions and can substitute frequently to allow players to catch their breath in the thin Denver air. I see plenty of minutes for Wright, Jovic, Orlando and Highsmith as a consequence.

I would like to see Spo use intermittant full court pressure to tire out the Rockets’ starters and capitalize on their second unit. This is an ideal opportunity for Wright’s poa defense.

This could be a very interesting game. As long as they give 100%, cut down on their turnovers and crash the boards, I’ll be happy.



I agree with everything you said except don’t you mean the nuggets lol


Ha! Ha! Ha! Somebody is awake!


Lol I’m awake for now, I’m about to hit the gym before the game .


Big game and a big opportunity for ORob. He draws a very tough assignment but he has a chance to help us in the way we need it most, supporting Bam.

Reality Czech

Agreed. A player needs at least 20 minutes to acclimate and get into the flow. He needs to play and not worry about making mistakes. Experience is the best teacher.


Remember that game ORob had where it seemed like he had so much potential. But, then he was not given many opportunities after that. We can’t expect too much, because, like you said, he needs time to acclimate. But, maybe there is untapped potential there, and it may show in some way, as he may very well get 20 minutes.


too bad Bryant is suspended, this is one of the few games of the year when we could actually use him!


I agree. I still think, perhaps erroneously, that Bryant is our best solution in that role. He has been there before. I guess I am saying ORob’s ceiling is higher, but less of a proven commodity, abd Bryant’s floor is higher.


Bryant is not a good defender. ORob should be a better solution, although if he is too aggressive he may foul out. Good opportunity for him to show how he can help the team down the stretch. He just needs to play to his strengths and not try to do everything all at once to impress. He has a lot of potential. His G League stats were very impressive.

ORob has the same problem Jovic does. Lack of maturity. He tries to do too much and winds up f***ing up and getting pulled out. He can be his own worst enemy. I hope he approaches the game with quiet confidence and plays to his strengths.


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