clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NBA PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND GAME 4 PREVIEW: Heat take on Hawks

Miami has another opportunity to win a road game and head back home with a commanding series lead.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat have another chance to take a commanding lead in their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks tonight in Game 4 scheduled for tip-off at 7:00pm.

To do that, they will have to put a frustrating 111-110 Game 3 loss on Friday behind them. Atlanta was led by Trae Young with 24 points, including the game-winning basket with seconds left, while Tyler Herro had his best game of the series with 24 points to lead Miami.

The biggest question today will be the injury status of Kyle Lowry, who injured his hamstring late in the third quarter and didn’t return to the game. He is officially listed as day-to-day for the time being. If Lowry can’t play tonight, others like Gabe Vincent or perhaps even Victor Oladipo will be called upon to replace his production. We’ve seen Hawks players like Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter step up during this series and help Young, now it’s time for the Heat’s supporting players to do the same.

Atlanta’s ranks second in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage at 37.4% so it was a given that they would bounce back from their first two games in Miami and shoot better in Game 3. How will the Heat adjust to their improved accuracy, while still dealing with Young who is capable at any moment of having an offensive explosion, could be the key to a Game 4 win.

Now is the time to respond and return home with a 3-1 series lead to close it out instead of potentially facing a 2-2 series tie. Duncan Robinson has only scored six total points since his 27-point Game 1 performance while Herro came through with 24 points in Game 3 after struggling with 21 points total in the first two games of the series. Miami simply needs more from Bam Adebayo, who is listed as questionable with a quad injury but is expected to play. The big man has played well defensively in spurts, but has looked lost at times — especially on offense — and has only averaged 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in the series.

Jimmy Butler can’t do it all himself, so pretty much any combination of players with solid games tonight can be the difference maker or else it may be hero ball in crunch time with plays leading nowhere and difficult long distance shots attempted.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
Game 1 Tuesday, May 17 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2 Thursday, May 19 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3 Saturday, May 21 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4 Monday, May 23 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 5* Wednesday, May 25 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6* Friday, May 27 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7* Sunday, May 29 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game Details

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Kyle Lowry: day to day (hamstring)
  • Gabe Vincent: probable (toe)
  • PJ Tucker: questionable (calf)
  • Caleb Martin: questionable (ankle)
  • Bam Adebayo: questionable (quadriceps)

ATLANTA:

  • Lou Williams: day-to-day (back)
  • Clint Capela: out (knee)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
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

ODDS

FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 46% chance to win the game.

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, TNT
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!