The Miami Heat started off the season with a win in Orlando, but have dropped the next two games on their home court. They now host the Sacramento Kings, hoping to hit the road with a .500 record. The Heat are a 3.5 point favorite to win the game.
Here’s what you need to know about the game.
Sacramento Kings (2-2) @ Miami Heat (1-2)
7:30 PM EST @ AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL
TV: SunSports // Radio: 790 the Ticket
Sacarmento: Ty Lawson, Arron Afflalo, Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Kosta Koufos
Miami: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Luke Babbitt, Hassan Whiteside
It may be worth noting that the Heat could alter their starting lineup in leu of DeMarcus Cousins now playing power forward, that would be a difficult matchup for Luke. We could see James Johnson slide in there to make it a bit more even.
The Kings are on a back-to-back, playing and losing last night in Atlanta, so that is in Miami’s favor. The Heat should be well motivated to win after dropping two straight. Hassan Whiteside always gives his best effort when playing the Kings, the team who drafted him and eventually gave up on him. He’s gotten better every game this season.
The key matchup in this game is going to be how the Heat handle Cousins. They have been lucky the last few times they have played Sacramento he has been hurt or suspended. So they aren’t familiar guarding him. He is a lot to handle, so this will be a major concern if Whiteside is not there protecting the rim. It will be a joint effort. Maybe...just maybe we could see Udonis Haslem?
But for Miami the primary source of success is going to be if they can get stops and push the ball. Dragic and Tyler Johnson want to do that all game long, and the Heat will be at their best in transition.
The worst case scenario is that this becomes a possession game near the end. The Heat don’t have a go-to player in crunch minutes or a go-to play. The Kings can hand the ball to Cousins or Rudy Gay and expect to get a decent look when it matters most.
Prediction: the Heat get back on the right track offensively and create enough stops to get a win in the 4th. Miami 106, Sacramento 97.