This is probably the most important stretch of games for the Miami Heat this season. Their postseason hopes are in the balance, and they have to have a good week. Miami begins a four game home stand before playing it's final game on the road.
Here's our weekly look at what is ahead for the Heat and a small preview. I'm giving you on solid FanDuel fantasy pick as well as you close out your season to make some cash.
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Charlotte @ Miami
DETAILS: Tuesday, 7:30 PM EST
The Hornets and Heat meet in Miami for a pivotal game, in fact Spoelstra said it is the most important game of the season. If the Heat lose, the Hornets will jump them in the standings by a 1/2 game, and Miami will be 11th with 4 games to go. If the Heat win, they put pressure on the teams ahead of them who all have more difficult schedules down the stretch.
Luckily for the Heat, the Hornets will likely be without Al Jefferson who has always been a problem for them. He may even be shut down for the season. The Hornets aren't a great scoring team, but Miami will have to score on their top 5 defense. The best FanDuel play here is Goran Dragic. The Hornets don't have a point guard big enough of defensive minded enough to keep Dragic from the basket. He should be scoring and creating all night.
Chicago @ Miami
DETAILS: Thursday, 8:00 PM EST
This will still be a test for the Heat, as the Bulls are still trying to hang on to the #3 seed, and they could be welcoming Derrick Rose back to the lineup any day. Miami has beaten Chicago this season thanks to Hassan Whiteside's triple double. The Bulls offer plenty of problems for the Heat.
However, if Miami is able to win on Tuesday, and have Whiteside and Birdman, they will be competitive. The Bulls are too physical for the Heat to play even more short-handed than they already are. A nationally televised game hopefull energizes them more than usual. I think the best FanDuel play in this game will be Jimmy Butler. He's got a motor that will be hard to match and has played well against Miami this season.
Toronto @ Miami
DETAILS: Saturday, 7:30 PM EST
The Raptors are also fighting for playoff positioning, and by this point, hopefully the Heat will be as well. Miami will have been home for a week at this point, and should be rested. The Raptors have slowed since their solid start this season, but are still a formidable foe.
Clearly, I think the FanDuel play here is Kyle Lowry. He's having an incredible season this far, and he will be a major issue for the Heat. But I also think that if Hassan Whiteside is playing, he will be a FanDuel worthy pick as well. The Raptors have some size, but I think Whiteside will be able to have a really good night -- something around 16/12/3.
The FanDuel picks are nothing compared to the magnitude of the game. After this, Miami will have two games left -- so this game could very well determine the outcome of their playoff hopes.