The Miami Heat continue their lengthy road trip on Wednesday night in San Francisco at the Chase Center. They’ve been on the road for the last three games since a win over the Houston Rockets, 101-94, last Thursday. The Heat were unable to get into the winner’s circle the previous two outings, though, as the Utah Jazz beat them soundly, 112-94, and then the banged up LA Clippers made easy work of the Heat in a 125-118 game on Monday. That was despite no Paul George or Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers.
The Heat were lazy defensively and paid for it with a loss. Marcus Morris sliced the Heat up for 32 points in an impressive display for the Clippers. The Heat desperately need a healthy Goran Dragic. He’s been battling a bad knee and ankle the last couple of weeks and has missed some time. I think Dragic has been trying to play through the pain, and he couldn’t go much longer without risking damaging it more and turning something minor into a long-term problem.
This has not been a perfect season for the Heart. It hasn’t been perfect, nor has it been good. The Heat were expected to be a competitive team in the Eastern Conference again, but they’re five games below .500 going into this contest. The Heat are going into San Francisco with a disappointing record of 11-16. Prior to their two recent losses, the Heat were on a four-game winning streak. That sounds nice and all, but let’s take a look at who the Heat actually beat. They were winners over the Wizards, Knicks twice, and then the Rockets.
That’s not exactly a solid lineup of wins. Preceding that four-game winning streak, the Heat lost seven of their previous eight games. No word on whether Dragic is going to be good enough to play tonight, but he is dealing with a sprained ankle, which likely isn’t going to get better overnight. Dragic has missed five straight games for the Heat. Before leaving, Dragic was averaging 14.4 points and 5.3 assists per game. Kendrick Nunn has been starting with Dragic injured.
The Warriors are coming off a 129-98 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. It was a bounce-back win or the Warriors after they came up short, 134-117, against the Brooklyn Nets in a big showdown on Saturday night. The Warriors will likely continue to look amazing against inferior competition, but struggle against top-tier teams. Without Klay Thompson, the Warriors are a good, not a great team. They enter tonight with a record of 15-13. Head below for our free Heat vs. Warriors pick on February 17, 2021.
Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors NBA Betting Odds:
Heat vs. Warriors Prediction:
The Warriors got a big lift this season when Draymond Green returned to the lineup. They looked lost out there defensively, but have looked considerably better now. Sure, the Warriors gave up 134 points to the Nets, though that offense is going to chew up every defense in the league. Despite that performance by the Warriors, they have otherwise been strong defensively over the last few weeks. Golden State looked like a bottom-5 defense without Green.
However, they are up to 18th in the NBA with 112.9 points conceded per game. They are second in the NBA at limiting teams from the field. Opponents are shooting just 43.8% against the Warriors this season. At the Chase Center in San Francisco, visitors are connecting at a measly clip of 42.7%. The Warriors have held teams to an average of 109.3 points while scoring an average of 115.6 points per game.
I’m expecting the Warriors to do a solid job at limiting the Heat offense, which has been ugly at times. The Heat are 27th in the NBA with 106.6 points scored per game. In their previous five games, they have been struggling mightily without Dragic in the lineup. The Heat have scored an average of only 104 points per contest. Somebody is going to have to get hot for the Heat to counter Stephen Curry.
Jimmy Butler can do his best, but he has no help without Dragic active. Tyler Herro has been too inconsistent to be another go-to option for the Heat. Miami has been abysmal on the road with a record of 4-9, and I don’t see it getting any better for them in this contest. I think the Warriors should be 3 or 3.5-point favorites in this spot, so there appears to be some value on this line.