The Miami Heat (8-11) have stopped the bleeding at least momentarily with a 113-105 win over the Washington Wizards (10-8) on Wednesday. Miami had dropped four in a row prior to that and now they'll get round two with Washington on Friday as the Wizards have spent Thanksgiving in South Beach and are ready for back-to-back meetings with the Heat.
One thing to note about Miami's recent four-game losing streak was that they were all road tilts, including falling 107-106 in OT at Washington. The Heat have a three-game home win streak going at home including a 113-112 victory over the Suns on November 14th. The Wizards' loss on Wednesday put an end to a run of five wins in six games, so they're ready to get back on track in this spot.
Washington Battling Health ConcernsWho knows how a holiday in South Beach will affect Washington's play on Friday, something that has to be taken into consideration as this team is just 3-4 in road games this season. The Wizards' recent 5-1 stretch over a six game span was all on a long home stand although those victories still came against some quality teams in Dallas (113-105), Utah (121-112), Memphis (102-92), and the 1-point win over the Heat.
The Wizards lost by 8-points on Wednesday, but that's really not a bad showing considering they were without their starting backcourt with Bradley Beal (thigh) and Monte Morris (ankle) both sitting. Kyle Kuzma stepped up in a big way with 33 points while Kristaps Porzingis had 21 but Washington probably wins that game if at least Beal is in the lineup. Beal had 27 at home vs. Miami last Friday while Porzingis went for 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Do Heat Get Players Back?Sure Washington 'only' lost by 8 points on Wednesday without their starting backcourt, but Miami was also without Jimmy Butler (knee), Max Strus (shoulder), and Duncan Robinson (ankle). Butler is questionable for Friday's matchup even though he's missed the last four games, while Robinson has missed the last two and Strus the last one.
The Heat got a big outing from Kyle Lowry with a season-high 28 points to fuel Wednesday's win over the Wizards. Caleb Martin also had a season-high 24 points so the Heat either have more depth than they thought or that was a rare performance from both Lowry and Martin. Bam Adebayo added 15 points and 11 rebounds as he battled on the block with Porzingis after missing last Friday's game in Washington with a knee ailment. Six of the seven Miami players who got on the court in Washington scored in double figures last week.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a tough game to handicap because of the injury concerns on both teams. If Beal plays but Butler doesn't or vice-versa it really changes the landscape of this matchup. You have to go on who you know is playing, and Kuzma was great in Wednesday's loss while going for 20+ in five of the last seven. Porzingis has also averaged 20.5 points and 13 rebounds in the last two meetings with the Heat so Washington has the more consistent upside here.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams met up in an OT game last Friday – an extra session that resulted in five total points and still went under the 217 number. Oddsmakers dropped that O/U to 209 on Wednesday and it resulted in 218 total points. The total has gone over in five straight home games for the Heat, but with all the injuries to both sides and coming off the holiday expect both Washington and Miami to come out a bit lethargic. Six of the Wizards last eight road tilts have gone under the total so that trend should continue in a matchup of two teams in the top 12 in defensive efficiency.