It's been a while, but the Miami Heat finally return home tonight when they welcome the Atlanta Hawks to South Beach. The Heat are on the heels of dropping the final 3 games of their 5-game road trip and have fallen 2 games behind Boston for the top spot in the East. Still, the worst part of the road trip was that each member of the Heat's superstar trifecta came home banged up.
LeBron James and Chris Bosh each injured their ankles while Dwyane Wade is dealing with a knee injury, and for the firs time this season all three of them missed practice. They each sat out as the Heat had their first practice at the AAA since early January. LeBron and D-Wade are both expected to play while Chris Bosh is doubtful after suffering his injury on Saturday in Chicago.
With Bosh out of the lineup and Juwan Howard struggling of late, where can the Heat turn for production out of the power forward spot? One option would be to play small and move LeBron down there, which would also allow more minutes for our suddenly hot bench shooters. James would either be defending Al Horford or Josh Smith, and the three are all pretty similar in size. Smith is 6'9" 240lbs, Horford is 6'10" 245lbs and LeBron is 6'8" 250lbs.
After the last two games, you have to assume Erik Spoelstra will find a way to get Eddie House onto the court. He scored 28 points in the 41 combined minutes he played against Denver and Chicago after playing in just 5 of the previous 20 games. He was also on fire from downtown, making 7 of his 11 three point attempts.
- While it doesn't feel like it lately, Zydrunas Ilgauskas is shooting a career best 52.7% from the field.
- Hawks forward Al Horford is hitting 55% from the field and 82% from the charity stripe.
- Jamal Crawford has come off the bench this year to average a league high 16.3 points. In his last 7 games he's averaging 24.4 points.
- Udonis Haslem (foot) is out, Chris Bosh (ankle) is doubtful and LeBron James (ankle) is probable.
- As for Atlanta, Marvin Williams (back) is listed as day-to-day.
Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7:30. The Hawks are on the 2nd night of a back-to-back after beating Sacramento last night 100-98 in Atlanta. This game will be broadcast on NBA TV.