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GAME PREVIEW: Heat look to respond against the visiting Jazz after letting one slip away on Saturday

Miami is coming off a tough overtime loss in Orlando.

NBA: Miami Heat at Utah Jazz Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Game Story:

The 36-33 and 7th seed Miami Heat are set for a matchup against the 33-35 Utah Jazz back inside Miami-Dade Arena. The Heat are coming off a very disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic; a game that featured Jimmy Butler walk off the court prior to the game was over. Butler’s frustration is certainly understandable, as he hit a heroic game tying 3 in the final seconds of regulation just for the team to get extremely outplayed in overtime.

Butler has been on a tear recently, and is showing a bit of a preview of “playoff Jimmy” already. He has been dominant with scoring the ball at incredible efficiency. So the production from the team’s leading guy is there, it’s just the help from the supporting cast that is yet to be seen at an everyday basis. Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro need to stay aggressive, but it’s the guys like Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Kevin Love, etc. that need to do their share. This team is desperately lacking consistent production from an “x-factor” kind of player.

Victor Oladipo and Caleb Martin have each shown they have the ability to be that guy, but Oladipo has struggled to string together efficient games on a nightly basis scoring wise. It will be interesting tonight to see if Lowry remains coming off the bench or if Saturday’s game was just to ease the veteran back into game action and will be starting again. When it comes to the standings, at this point it looks like realistically this Heat team is playing to hold onto home court advantage for the play-in tournament.

The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks just keep winning as Miami is still looking inconsistent, as they have all season long.

Miami will be looking to bounce back and get back into the winning column tonight in South Beach. However, it doesn’t seem like it will be easy. Tyler Herro’s buzzer beating 3 on New Years Eve against this same Jazz team proves that, as it was arguably the tightest game of the season that truly went down to the final milliseconds. Both the Jazz and Heat are ranked number 1 and 2, respectively, in clutch game scenarios.

The Jazz are an extremely long and athletic team that cannot be slept on. It will be nice to see Spoelstra match the size of the Jazz and give Kevin Love some more extended minutes. The turnovers need to be contained and the defense needs to be tight in this one. It will be important for the Heat to play physical and feisty on that end of the floor considering how tall that starting front court is for Utah.

As for injuries, Cody Zeller is listed as out due to a broken nose that happened in a collision against the Magic Saturday. So expect to see some minutes from Omer Yurtseven in relief of Bam. Lowry is listed as questionable but should be available, leaving Martin and his sore knee as the only person who is truly questionable to play. He should be closer to a game time decision

Let’s see how Miami will respond after letting one slip away this past weekend.

Injury Report:


  • Kyle Lowry, questionable
  • Caleb Martin, questionable
  • Duncan Robinson, out
  • Cody Zeller, out
  • Orlando Robinson, out
  • Nikola Jovic, out


  • Jordan Clarkson, questionable
  • Collin Sexton, out
  • Micah Potter, out

Probable Starters:


  • Jimmy Butler
  • Kevin Love
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Tyler Herro
  • Gabe Vincent


  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Kelly Olynyk
  • Walker Kessler
  • Ochai Agbaji
  • Talen Horton-Tucker

ODDS (via FanDuel)

Check the odds out at FanDuel!

Broadcast Info:

Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST

TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)

Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)

Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

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