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GAME PREVIEW: Lowry out, Bam expected to be back tonight when Heat host Raptors

Lowry is out for personal reasons while Bam is expected to make his long-awaited return.

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (27-16) take on the Toronto Raptors (21-19) at the FTX Arena on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with tip-off scheduled for 7:30pm.

Bam Adebayo (thumb) has been upgraded to questionable but is widely expected to make his return to the court tonight. Unfortunately there will be no reunion for Kyle Lowry and his former team, with the point guard out for personal reasons.

The same can be said for former Heat point guard Goran Dragic, who was traded to Toronto in the Kyle Lowry sign-and-trade deal, as he is not with the team. Precious Achiuwa, who was the other player involved in the Lowry trade, will play and face his former team. However, another former Heat player, Khem Birch, is also out tonight with a nose injury.

Both teams have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, though the Raptors are eighth in the Eastern Conference while the Heat are in third place. Toronto has a 9-8 road record while Miami’s seven game win streak at home was snapped by the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday to drop their home record to 13-5.

Fred VanVleet is scoring 21.9 points per game for the Raptors and will be one to watch for with Lowry out. Most likely coach Erik Spoelstra will dust off Gabe Vincent, who did not play against the 76ers and only played six minutes against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, to help contain VanVleet, who ranks second in the NBA with 3.9 3-point field goals made behind only Stephen Curry.

Toronto did a huge favor for the Heat in the East standings by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 103-96 on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam had 30 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his second career triple-double.

ODDS: Based on their current records and past performances this season, the odds for the Heat are on their side tonight while FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 67% chance to win the game. Bam’s expected return certainly gives the Heat a more-than-welcome boost, but Toronto remains a dangerous opponent — especially with Lowry, who is currently fifth in the NBA with 8.3 assists per game, not able to play tonight.

HEAT VS RAPTORS: MONDAY, JANUARY 17 AT 7:30 PM.

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • KZ Okpala: out (wrist)
  • Markieff Morris: out (conditioning)
  • Bam Adebayo: questionable (thumb)
  • Kyle Lowry: out (personal reasons)

TORONTO:

  • Scottie Barnes: out (rest)
  • Khem Birch: out (nose)
  • Goran Dragic: out (personal)
  • Gary Trent Jr.: out (ankle)

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)

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