GAME PREVIEW: Heat head back on the road for matchup against Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks

Bam Adebayo is coming off an 18 point and 7 rebound performance in a win against the Detroit Pistons.

Game story:

The 35-26 Miami Heat head right back on the road after a quick two-game set at home to face the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs are sporting a 34-28 record and are 5-5 over their last 10 games. The Heat on the other hand, are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

Miami has also won nine of their last 11 games and 11 of their last 14 games.

Tonight will be a tough test for the Heat backcourt of Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson as they matchup against Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Both Mavericks players are capable of simply taking basketball games over at any given moment. Even when they aren’t lethal with their scoring, the playmaking abilities between the two puts so much pressure on the defense. Their 3-point abilities also changes the look of the defense when it is harder to help off of others and risk leaving those shooters open.

Tyler Herro and Kevin Love are both listed as out for not just tonight, but also the next game tomorrow in OKC against the Thunder. Herro will be missing seven consecutive games following the next game’s absence; far from ideal for a team that is trying to get their core to mesh as much as they can heading into the NBA Playoffs. At first Herro was listed with a hyperextended knee injury that he suffered a couple weeks ago against the New Orleans Pelicans. Now, it has changed to his foot being the cause of his unavailability.

Herro told the media that this is the same nagging foot injury that he’s suffered for multiple seasons now, and that the team is trying their best to manage it.

Regardless, the Heat are rolling and after returning from an injury of his own, Rozier has looked much more comfortable in his role and shooting efficiency. Since being inserted back into the lineup, he has averaged 17.3 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds on 45.5% shooting and 33.3% from 3-point range. He has a true shooting percentage of 56.8% in this stretch.

Jimmy Butler is another player who has ramped things up and the team is following his lead. Butler is averaging 24.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.1 steals over his last dozen games. The efficiency has just been absurd, going 56% from the field and 53% from deep. He has knocked down at least one 3-pointer in each of the last 15 games, good for a career-high.

His season long 3-point percentage is also a career high, at nearly 47%. “Playoff Jimmy” is in form, and his teammates are following his lead.

Miami will get a test against two Western Conference power house opponents on back-to-back nights. The Mavericks game this evening will be nationally televised on TNT at 7:30 PM EST; the last TNT covered game for the Heat before the start of the postseason.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Tyler Herro (foot) — OUT
  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — OUT
  • Kevin Love (heel) — OUT

Dallas Mavericks:

  • Luka Doncic (ankle) — PROBABLE
  • Maxi Kleber (knee) — PROBABLE
  • Alex Fudge (g league) — OUT
  • Greg Brown (g league) — OUT
  • Olivier-Maxence Prosper (g league) — OUT
  • Brandon Williams (g league) — OUT

Projected Starting 5 (subject to change):

Miami Heat:

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

Dallas Mavericks:

  • Luka Doncic, G
  • Kyrie Irving, G
  • Josh Green, F
  • PJ Washington, F
  • Dereck Lively, C

Betting Lines:

  • Check the current odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST
  • TV: TNT exclusive
  • 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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Reality Czech

I will be unavailable tonight for at least half the game, though I will be checking the score. So, Let’s go Heat!!


I watched a lot of Mavs games lately, because of Luka of course. They are really bad right now, but they were really good less then a week ago.
Before all star game they won seven straight with good defence, then lost 5 out of 6 with leagues worse one.
I expect close game. Mavs are still top 10 team in the league.


I think Luka is one of the most exciting players in the NBA and incredibly fun to watch. But it also feels like he is not a great teammate. He didn’t get along with Porzingus, there was the drama with Grant Williams, and I just read an article (I think on the athletic) about him yelling at Tim Hardaway Jr.

since you watch more than me, what are your thoughts? Is he a young guy that needs to learn to be a better teammate? Or is it one of those things where the perception isn’t the reality?


He is an emotional guy, that’s for sure.

As far I know, he is quiet, lovable, intelligent, fun guy out of the court. But he is something different on the court.

I dont like him barking on and discussing with referees, and every technical he gets is well deserved. This is the worst part of his game.

About teammates?
He didnt go along with Porcingis, but it wasnt really a fight, more like not bonding. As far I know about Williams, he complained that is all about Luka in Dallas… well, thats like if Jovic would complain thats all about Butler in Miami.. its just the way it is.
Tim Hardaway Jr would make a lot of people yell, not only Luka. One of most frustrating players in the league.

So I dont know. He is a great teammate, when everything is fine, not so great, when things are going south.


thanks for the feedback.

Sounds like he’s just a young guy that wants to win. I remember Jimmy Butler having a reputation as a bad teammate before he came to the Heat, for whatever that’s worth.

I’ve hated the Mavs since the two finals battles. But it’s getting to a point where I like watching Luka more than I hate the Mavs. But I know what you mean about arguing with refs (which I hated about the Mavs during the rivalry). Hopefully he grows out of that, because he’s awesome


I become Heats fan after 2011, so I don’t have any problems with them. Philly, Boston, NY and Portland are teams I hate.

Luka could become one of the greats of all time. You cannot say for a lot of players something like that.


So with Cuban selling the team and Wade hugging it out with Dirk on his podcast, is the Dallas rivalry officially dead? I used to frickin hate the Mavs. Now I don’t even really care about this game, aside from the obvious playoff implications.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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