Every week we like to give you a good look at what's coming up for the Heat. This week, it's four games and a chance for the Heat to make a push in the standings. Here's what's ahead, and as always some fantasy basketball advice as you play FanDuel with us!
Oklahoma City @ Miami
DETAILS: Tuesday, 7:30 PM EST
The Heat are coming off of their 5-game west coast trip, and 3 days of rest. Coming home after a long trip is always difficult. Meanwhile, the Thunder just played and won in Orlando on Sunday. The Thunder are in the process of trying to make up the ground they lost when both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook missed games. Miami is simply trying to figure out how to be consistent.
Westbrook has been having an MVP caliber season, and he's going to be tough to stop. If Miami sticks with Shabazz Napier as the starter, don't be surprised to see Wade (assuming he plays) cover Russell. Oh, and then there is Kevin Durant. Luckily, Luol Deng will take that matchup, but don't expect him to stop him, just make him work for it. Let's see if Hassan Whiteside can continue his good play.
FanDuel Advice: I think it would be unwise not to play Russell Westbrook under any circumstance. The Heat have no answer for him, I think he will have a monster game. On Miami's side, I think Whiteside is a good play here, I believe he rebounds from Sacramento and he's a good price at center.
Miami @ Charlotte
DETAILS: Wednesday, 7:00 PM EST
The Hornets play an afternoon home game on Monday while the Heat will be coming off a back-to-back from Tuesday. The Hornets have been struggling this season, and the trade rumors of Lance Stephenson aren't helping. This is a very winnable game for the Heat if they come in with the right focus.
The key for the Heat will be two-fold. The first is Kemba Walker, who has been playing great basketball. Walker has been putting up solid numbers lately, and the Heat will have to pay attention to him. The second is Al Jefferson, who is just big and gives the Heat problems. Whiteside might be able to help, but Jefferson will be the focus of the game-plan.
FanDuel Advice: I think this is a game where you could really see Luol Deng play well. I know that's hit and miss, but the Hornets will put so much attention on Bosh and Wade, that Deng should be able to sneak into productivity. Again, I'm going with the opposing point guard and Kemba Walker as a solid play here.
Indiana @ Miami
DETAILS: Friday, 7:30 PM EST
The Pacers play in Atlanta on Wednesday. Indiana has beaten the Heat twice this season, and one already in Miami. The Heat simply can't let them come in and do that again. Without Paul George, the Heat just need to put their foot down and get the win. Indiana seems to be in the half-way zone between not good enough yet for playoff contention, and not bad enough to get a higher lottery selection.
George Hill was the problem last time they played, but I am thinking the big match-up will be between Chris Bosh and David West. West hasn't been his self this season, but in order for the Heat to beat the Pacers, Bosh has to outplay West. I am also excited to see Hassan Whiteside take on Roy Hibbert.
FanDuel Advice: None. Likely a low scoring game with no player having a clear advantage. Wade is the only guy I think of, but sometimes it's hard to tell.
Miami @ Chicago
DETAILS: Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Bulls play a Thursday-Friday back-to-back before hosting the Heat. Last time, the Bulls flat out demolished Miami (without Bosh). In Chicago, the Heat will have to play their best game to have a chance against a premier East team. Chicago hasn't been a great home team so far, but they are still good.
The key will be whether Miami can contend on the boards against one of the biggest front courts in the East. Whiteside again will have his work cut out for him going against Joakim Noah. The game can go one way or another depending on how Derrick Rose feels like playing that day.
FanDuel Advice: This is a game I would expect Pau Gasol to play very well, but I don't know he's worth how much he usually is. This again will probably be a low scoring affair, so you don't want to grab too many players from this game. Maybe think about taking Jimmy Butler.
Disclosure: Remember, even though FanDuel sponsors this post, all the opinions and insights are my own. FanDuel has given me a little bit of money to start playing already.
Remember, there are lots of ways to play FanDuel. You can play for cash or for free. You can enter pools starting as low as $1. You can play winner take all, a 50/50 league that just requires you finishing in the top half, or specialized custom leagues. All you have to do is pick a team of 9 players with $60k fantasy cash and play against others.
The Best night to play this week: Today, January 19 OR Wednesday, January 21. 24 of the 30 NBA teams will be in action those nights so there's plenty of players to choose from.
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