The Miami Heat are set to host the Detroit Pistons in a mostly empty American Airlines Arena at 8PM ET.
The Heat have started the season off with less-than-desirable results. After 10 games, they hold a 4-6 record. They just completed a two-game set in Philadelphia, and got swept by the 76ers. Prior to that, they had alternated wins and losses through the first eight games of the campaign. After facing the Pistons on Saturday and Monday, they’ll go on a four-game road trip with a pair of contests each in Toronto and in Brooklyn.
In Miami’s last game, they dropped to the Philadelphia 76ers by a 125-108 final. The Heat only had eight players available, and seven of them finished in double-figures, led by 22 from Duncan Robinson. He was nine-for-14 overall and four-for-eight from deep. Gabe Vincent scored 21 points with eight assists, and Precious Achiuwa had 10 points with 11 rebounds.
Unfortunately for the Heat, Third-year shooting guard Shake Milton was 11-of-15 from the field for a career-second-best 31 points and seven assists.
I don’t want to hear anything about fatigue, Philly just outplayed us. — Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, to Dan Gelston, AP
The Pistons, meanwhile, have opened their season with a 2-9 record, the worst mark in the NBA. They just completed a three game home-set, defeating the Phoenix Suns, 110-105 in overtime last Friday, losing to the Utah Jazz, 96-86 on Sunday, and losing to the Milwaukee Bucks, 110-101 on Wednesday. After the pair of games against Miami, they’ll visit the Atlanta Hawks this coming Wednesday.
In Detroit’s last game, they lost by nine to the Bucks. Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 22 points. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk came off the bench for 18, and Blake Griffin had a dozen with seven rebounds and six assists. Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
As a young team, we just made enough mistakes at the right time to put yourself in a hole. — Detroit coach Dwane Casey to Noah Trister, AP
The last time the Heat and Pistons faced off was on November 12, 2019, a 117-108 Miami victory. Jimmy Butler scored 20 points with 13 assists, and Bam Adebayo had 18 with 14 boards. Goran Dragić came off the bench for 18 with six assists.
We want it to be tough to come here and play. We don’t want people to come here and want to play the Miami Heat. We don’t want people to want to play the Miami Heat, home or away. — Jimmy Butler to Tim Reynolds, AP
All Time Head-to-Head
The Heat are 60-54 all-time against the Pistons, a .526 winning percentage which is their 14th best against an NBA franchise.
Miami Heat: 4-6, .400, on pace for 29-43. Fourth in the Southeast Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 23rd in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-W-L-L. Playoff Odds: 79 percent.
Detroit Pistons: 2-9, .182, on pace for 13-59. Fifth in the Central Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference, 30th in the NBA. Last Five: L-L-W-L-L. Playoff Odds: <1 percent.
Around the NBA
Oklahoma City Thunder 127, Chicago Bulls 125
Milwaukee Bucks 112, Dallas Mavericks 109
Cleveland Cavaliers 106, New York Knicks 103
Boston Celtics 124, Orlando Magic 97
Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans
Utah Jazz 116, Atlanta Hawks 92
Washington Wizards vs. Detroit Pistons (PPD)
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (PPD)
Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns (PPD)
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs, 5PM ET
Orlando Magic vs. Brooklyn Nets, 6PM ET
Charlotte Hornets vs. Toronto Raptors, 7:30PM ET
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 8PM ET
Atlanta Hawks vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10PM ET
Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns, PPD
Points: Jerami Grant (DET) - 24.8, Tyler Herro (MIA) - 17.6, Bam Adebayo (MIA) - 17.4, Gabe Vincent (MIA) - 17.3, Jimmy Butler (MIA) - 15.8
Rebounds: Mason Plumlee (DET) - 9.5, Bam Adebayo (MIA) - 9.0, Tyler Herro (MIA) - 6.7, Jerami Grant (DET) - 6.0, Precious Achiuwa (MIA) - 5.9
Assists: Derrick Rose (DET) - 5.4, Jimmy Butler (MIA) - 5.3, Bam Adebayo (MIA) - 5.0, Goran Dragić (MIA) - 5.0, Blake Griffin (DET) - 4.3
Steals: Jimmy Butler (MIA) - 2.2, Mason Plumlee (DET) - 1.5, Saben Lee (DET) - 1.5, Kelly Olynyk (MIA) - 1.1, Josh Jackson (DET) - 1.1
Blocks: Jerami Grant (DET) - 1.2, Bam Adebayo (MIA) - 1.0, Kelly Olynyk (MIA) - 0.8, Jimmy Butler (MIA) - 0.7, Isaiah Stewart (DET) - 0.7
Miami Heat: Meyers Leonard is out with a shoulder injury. Bam Adebayo, Avery Bradley, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragić, Maurice Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Nunn, and KZ Okpala are all out for health and safety protocols.
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes is out with a labral tear in his hip with no timetable for a return. Derrick Rose is day-to-day with a knee injury.
Probable Starting Lineups
With Health and safety precautions being taken, the Heat will continue to slap together whatever they can to take the floor. It’s likely they’ll continue to field an eight-man rotation for another week, at least.
C - Kelly Olynyk
PF - Precious Achiuwa
SG - Andre Igoudala
SF - Duncan Robinson
PG - Tyler Herro
The Pistons lack a true starting point guard, much like the Heat. That being said, this may be a good time for Detroit to steal one or two wins with the Heat continuing to miss Dragić, Adebayo, and Butler.
SG - Wayne Ellington
C - Mason Plumlee
PF - Blake Griffin
SF - Jerami Grant
PG - Josh Jackson
The Miami Heat culture is founded on “next-man up.” As it stands, it’s never been more true than right now. Aside from the five starters, the’ll have Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Chris Silva at their disposal. Those three will likely not get a better chance, this season anyway, to earn their stripes.