Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#511 Atlanta Hawks vs.
#512 Miami Heat
Friday, January 14, 2022 at 8:10pm EST
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Written by Jordy

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The Atlanta Hawks will have their hands full when trying to avoid a fourth straight loss in Friday’s run-in with the Miami Heat. Both teams met up at the State Farm Arena on Wednesday, and the Hawks got hammered as 2.5-point favorites. Now, the Hawks take the show on the road for the rematch against a Heat team riding hot off a three-game winning streak.

Can Young shake shooting slump?

Trae Young has looked human in his previous three outings with his shooting percentage sitting at no higher than 38 percent. He plummeted all the way down to 26.7 percent shooting against the Heat on Wednesday.

The team won’t have Clint Capela for Friday’s rematch with the Heat, and Kevin Huerter is questionable with a bruised foot. They need Young to be the offensive magician he usually is to get the job done on the road at South Beach.

Miami might be dealing with injuries, but they’re still the sixth-ranked defensive team in the league. They aren’t giving up easy buckets, and they’re constantly forcing turnovers. Young and company are going to have an even tougher time away from their home building.

It would help if they didn’t have the third-worst defense in the league. It has been too easy for teams to run up the scoreboard against this Hawks team. They’re allowing an average of 118.3 points in their last three games.

The Heat might be missing multiple key players, but they still have reliable sharpshooters in the backcourt.

Slight chance for Butler’s return in Miami

Jimmy Butler is on the mend and could be returning to the lineup for the Heat on Friday. He’s officially listed as questionable to play against the Hawks. Markieff Morris, on the other hand, has cleared COVID protocols, but he’ll be out due to conditioning.

The Heat are getting healthier again.

But for how long? That’s been the biggest issue with the team this season. They can’t seem to stay healthy and keep everyone on the floor together. And they’re still the No. 3-ranked team in the Eastern Conference. This is a team that just finds a way to win games.

They certainly found a way to win against the Hawks on the road on Wednesday.

Tyler Herro came off the bench for a team-high 21 points, and Caleb Martin added 18 points on the night. The buckets always seem to come from somewhere for the Heat. It should be expected when facing an opponent allowing 48.4 percent shooting on average in their last three games.

Miami is always going to be a problem as long as they maintain their defensive identity. The team is only allowing 100 points on average per game in their last three outings. Trae Young has been eerily quiet for the Hawks in recent outings. If they can keep a muzzle on the star guard’s offensive wizardry, they should have no issues doubling up on the Hawks for another victory.

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Trae Young is stuck in a shooting funk, and the Hawks are headed on the road to face off against the same Heat team that just obliterated them in Atlanta on Wednesday.

What could go wrong?

That’s obviously sarcasm because everything can go wrong in this matchup. The Heat have already shown they can run up the score against the Hawks. It’s no surprise when considering Atlanta has one of the worst defensive teams in the league. You’d think they were handing out buckets for free at this point.

Clint Capela being gone has taken away the fear element they once had down low. Granted, John Collins is still a problem, but Capela was averaging 13.1 rebounds per game. The biggest issue for Young in this game is facing an elite defensive team when he’s already struggling to get buckets. This isn’t the opponent to be looking to settle back into a shooting rhythm against.

Jimmy Butler might also be back for this game. So that’s another element the struggling Hawks might have to deal with on Friday. I’m rolling with the Heat in this game.

Prediction: Miami Heat -4.5

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The Hawks couldn’t get anything going on their home floor against this suffocating Heat defense. They were held to a pitiful 37.8 percent shooting and 91 points. Those numbers aren’t going to get much better being on the road at the FTX Arena against a Heat team that might have Jimmy Butler back in the lineup on Friday. Something is off with Trae Young’s shot right now. He’ll obviously figure it all out and get back to dropping buckets from every angle on the floor at some point. But it’s a tall task to expect him to just snap back into that mode against the Heat’s defense. Give me the under in this one.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.