GAME PREVIEW: Miami Heat look to take commanding 3-1 lead over NY Knicks
The Miami Heat will try to successfully protect home court in 2 straight rounds of these playoffs.
The 8th seeded Miami Heat are now 2 wins away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. It would be the second consecutive year, and third time making it that far in four seasons. The Heat defended their home court in Saturday’s game 3 win and will look to get the job done completely with another home win tonight.
Jimmy Butler returned from his ankle injury last game and dropped an effortless 28 points. He also got some help from Bam Adebayo who tallied a 17 point and 12 rebound double double to go along with elite defense. Max Strus dropped 19 points as well.
Kyle Lowry proved to be an important veteran leader off the bench again as he led the second unit with 14 points and 4 assists on 4/9 shooting, 2/4 from downtown.
Both Butler and Caleb Martin, who were listed as questionable last game, are again listed as the same for today. As long as players are getting treatment from the medical staff, the team is obligated to list them on the report. It seems very likely that both will be available to play once again.
For the Knicks, Immanuel Quickley has wound up on the injury report and listed as doubtful due to an ankle injury. He has been very strong for New York all series long and had a nice outing in game 3. It is expected for veterans Derrick Rose or Evan Fournier to get minutes to make up for Quickley’s guard play in the depth chart.
The Heat won last game in dominating fashion, in a near 20 point blow out. Miami didn’t shoot the ball that well, but the defense was very impressive. For them to win by that margin with only shooting 39% from the field and 22% from three, shows that their defense was really sharp. The rotations were quick, players shut off driving lanes, and the switches were great.
Bam Adebayo was the catalyst to the defensive clinic that took place in game 3. He held Julius Randle to just 10 points on 4/15 shooting.
Keeping Kevin Love in the starting unit has allowed Adebayo to do his thing more freely on defense and stay as the primary defender on Randle. It allows Love to stay on the less mobile Mitchell Robinson as Adebayo gets the job done on the All-Star Randle.
Look for Miami to try to replicate that defensive success, but also try to knock down some more shots. Especially from 3 point range, as that 22% shooting can most definitely be improved.
Today’s game will be nationally televised on TNT.
Haywood Highsmith (knee) — PROBABLE
Udonis Haslem (illness) — PROBABLE
Caleb Martin (back) — QUESTIONABLE
Jimmy Butler (ankle) — QUESTIONABLE
Tyler Herro (hand) — OUT
Victor Oladipo (knee) — OUT
Immanuel Quickley (ankle) — DOUBTFUL
Jericho Sims (shoulder) — OUT
Probable Starters (at time of publishing):
ODDS (via FanDuel)
Check the odds out at FanDuel!
Tipoff: 7:30 PM EST
TV: TNT & 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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Heat haven't shot like their Milw series. They ave 122pts, 45% on threes at 15 makes. 50% fgs! And yet we are up 2-1 vs NY. Lezzgo Heat!
We won 2 games, 1 on the road, on eat home by significant margin, and loose one without Jimmy in last minutes on the road. Its clear, that Miami is a better team at the moment. Winning this one would shorten the series and bring serious advantage in finals.
I have no doubt Heat will advance.