For as good as the Heat looked against the Washington Wizards on Friday in their final game of their homestand, much of it had to do with the team looking whole again with Goran Dragic back in the starting lineup and playing like he did in the bubble. Tyler Herro looked reinvigorated in his first game of the season coming off the bench and racked up points against the Wizards reserves in a role that appears to be much more suited to him as a second-year player still honing his NBA game.
Unfortunately with the news that Dragic will be out today and possibly longer, coach Erik Spoelstra must go back to the drawing board to figure out how to replace Dragic in the starting lineup without disrupting the chemistry that helped produce the team’s first blowout win in a month. Does he plug Herro, who had started in all 14 games he had played in before Friday, back in the starting lineup or does he go with Kendrick Nunn, who was the starter last season and has been looking more and more confident with each game, and keep Herro as his sixth man?
New York is led by Julius Randle who is averaging 22.6 points and 10.9 rebounds and are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference (the Heat are 13th), having gone 5-5 in their last 10 games and are 5-5 at home for the season. With new coach Tom Thibodeau at the helm, they have won their last two games, on the road against the Chicago Bulls 107-103 and at home against the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99.
Jimmy Butler’s former coach in Chicago and Minnesota has quickly made the Knicks into a more formidable opponent than they have been in recent years, but if the Heat can continue the form they showed on Friday they have an excellent chance to build on their win streak.
ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 55% chance to win the game.
HEAT VS KNICKS: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 AT 1:00 PM.
- Meyers Leonard: out for season (shoulder)
- Avery Bradley: out (calf)
- Moe Harkless: out (thigh)
- Chris Silva: out (hip)
- Goran Dragic: out (ankle)
- Jimmy Butler: day-to-day (foot)
- Gabe Vincent: day-to-day (knee)
- Nerlens Noel: day to day (knee)
|Marcus Smart||PG||Gabe Vincent|
|Jaylen Brown||SG||Max Strus|
|Grant Williams||SF||Jimmy Butler|
|Jayson Tatum||PF||PJ Tucker|
|Al Horford||C||Bam Adebayo|
TV: FOX SPORTS SUN
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Mike Inglis, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)
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