The Miami Heat will be looking to salvage their season by picking up a few wins in their current Western road trip. They will face the Sacramento Kings, who are hoping to arrest their four-game losing streak against the Heat. Miami themselves are on a three-game slide right now.
The Heat may have a record of 11-17, but they are just two games out of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Sacramento has to compete in the much harder Western Conference, where their 12-15 record has them 2.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets. But how short-handed are these teams heading into this game?
The Heat are going to miss big-man Meyers Leonard (shoulder) for the entire season. Avery Bradley (calf), Chris Silva (hip), and Goran Dragic (ankle). Meanwhile, the Kings will miss Richaun Holmes (knee), Harrison Barnes (foot), and Chimezie Metu (wrist).
But how will these teams line-up and who wins this game?
Miami Heat get a season boost with an important road win?
This is a tough game to call. While the Miami Heat are underperforming this season, the Kings were definitely over-performing. The mid-season blues have caught up with the still growing Kings and they are on a four-game slide. However, De’Aaron Fox is proving to be one of the better young point guards in the league and he gives Miami’s poor defensive guards a lot of trouble.
Jimmy Butler has been playing very well for Miami, but the team around him has been letting him down. Tyler Herro looks like a shadow of his bubble self, Duncan Robinson has been figured out by opposing defenders, and Bam Adebayo is just having inconsistent flashes of brilliance.
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The Heat will start the game with Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Kelly Olynyk, and Bam Adebayo. The Kings will play De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Glenn Robinson III, Marvin Bagley III, and Hassan Whiteside.
For our prediction, we are going with the Kings. It may be a left-field pick considering their poorer form, but the matchups seem to be in their favor. However, if Butler and Adebayo perform to the levels they are expected to, it will be an easy win for Miami.
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