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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit Hawks in first of a home and home series

The Miami Heat will play the Hawks in Atlanta before they welcome them to Miami this weekend.

Miami Heat v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (25-15) will conclude a 6-game road trip when they visit Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks (17-22) on the first of a home and home series.

Miami will again be without Jimmy Butler, but that hasn’t stopped them from stellar play recently. Dewayne Dedmon is close to return and could possibly be available for tonight’s game.

The Hawks have avoided national scrutiny after making the Conference Finals last season, but being 5 games under .500 so far this year. They are relatively healthy and have struggled to put together and form of dominance. Trae Young, the only player in the NBA in the top 10 in assists and points will be the biggest problem for Miami. Fortunately, not only will Kyle Lowry be able to defend him, but the Heat will also have Gabe Vincent back in action.

John Collins has given the Heat problems before, but hopefully, PJ Tucker is able to keep him uncomfortable. The Hawks will likely be without Clint Capela, which is a big deal because without him the Hawks only play Danillo Gallinari off the bench as a big. And when the Heat have been forced to play Chris Silva and Omer Yurtseven as a part of their 3-player big rotation outside of Tucker, this should be helpful.

Containing Trae Young as a playmaker and penetrator will be key. With Bogdanovich on the outside, the Hawks can get going. They’ve lost two in a row and should be motivated to get a win.

And...the Heat will host the Hawks on Friday night in Miami when the Heat begins 8/9 at home.

The KEY MATCHUP will be Kyle Lowry vs Trae Young. Both of these point guards are the engine of their team. Trae is a creator and a scorer but lacks a defensive presence. Kyle is a set-up man and one who can change a game defensively. Whoever puts more of their identity on this game will make a difference.

Or if Max, Tyler, and Duncan are hitting then we can’t lose.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 37% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS HAWKS: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 12 AT 7:30 PM.

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • KZ Okpala: out (wrist)
  • Dewayne Dedmon: questionable (knee)
  • Markieff Morris: out (health and safety protocols)
  • Bam Adebayo: out (thumb)
  • Marcus Garrett: out (conditioning)
  • Jimmy Butler: out (ankle)

ATLANTA:

  • Solomon Hill: out (hamstring)
  • Clint Capela: doubtful (ankle)
  • Cam Reddish: questionable (ankle)
  • De’Andre Hunter: questionable (wrist)
  • Sharife Cooper: questionable (thumb)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!