The Miami Heat (29-26) host the Milwaukee Bucks (30-23) for third time this season after winning both previous contests. With the additions of Dwyane Wade and Luke Babbitt Miami hopes to snap a five-game losing streak and cement a favorable playoff spot.
When: Friday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV: Fox Sports Sun
Radio: WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)
Win probability: ESPN predictor has Miami as favorites with a 54% chance to win.
HEAT: Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Derrick Jones Jr., Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside
BUCKS: Ish Smith, Eric Bledsoe, Tony Snell, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Henson
HEAT: Rodney McGruder (out, tibia surgery), Dion Waiters (out, ankle sprain), Kelly Olynyk (doubtful, shoulder), Wayne Ellington (probable, shoulder)
BUCKS: Malcolm Brogdon (out, left quad tendon injury), Matthew Dellavedova (out, right ankle sprain), Mirza Teletovic (out, pulmonary emboli).,
The time for the return of Dwyane Wade to his glorious place in Miami Heat history is now as previously written. Not to be slighted, Luke Babbitt also returns from his part in the Heat’s incredible 30-11 finish last season. The evening though belongs to Miami’s own Flash.
And a special message from DWade.
Back to business, the Bucks come into town winning 6 out their last 7 games, while the Heat are on a five-game skid.
In a stark reversal of fortunes Miami’s defense allowed over 100 points in their last four games, while scoring at 97 points in each one.
With the Heat leading 87-85, a defensive breakdown late in the game leaves an unprotected rim, once James Harden gets by his man, for a basket that ties the score and eventually leads to a Rockets win.
Harden’s Houston Rockets teammates created great spacing for him to do his work, while none of the Heat’s weakside defenders came over to offer any resistance in protecting the basket.
Adding the Hornets to the playoff picture puts Miami in competition with both Charlotte and the Detroit Pistons for the last playoff seed: just last week the Heat had an opportunity to grab third place in the Eastern Conference.
The return of 3-time NBA champion and future Hall Of Famer Wade will hopefully instill Championship habits, defensively and offensively, into the Heat players.
Now that Miami has a current All-Star in Goran Dragic and 12-time previous All-Star in Wade, history is on Miami Heat’s side.