Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#511 Dallas Mavericks vs.
#512 Miami Heat
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 8:05pm EDT
American Airlines Arena, Miami
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference matchup of teams that are trying to improve their standing in their respective playoff pictures in South Beach. The Dallas Mavericks are on the road as they make the trip to face the Miami Heat Tuesday night. Dallas comes in off a 111-99 home loss to Sacramento in their most recent game Sunday night. Miami ran to a 121-111 road win over Charlotte in a battle of teams playing the second game of a back-to-back situation Sunday night. In the all-time regular-season series, the Heat owns a 36-32 advantage between the teams but it was Dallas earning a 93-83 home win in the first matchup this season on January 1.

Dallas Mavericks Trying to Bounce Back

Dallas struggled against Sacramento at home on Sunday night and ended up being swept in the season series by the Kings in the process. The Mavericks entered Monday leading the Southwest Division by 3.5 games over the Grizzlies. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team stood fifth, 10 games behind the Jazz for the top spot, even with the seventh-place Trail Blazers in a battle for a guaranteed playoff spot and seven games ahead of the 11th-place Pelicans to remain in the playoff picture. Against Sacramento, Dallas trailed by 10 after the opening quarter, rallied to tie the game in the second quarter but trailed by seven at the half. The Mavericks couldn’t get closer than three in the second half: after Sacramento built their edge to 15 after three quarters, you could turn the lights out at that point. Dallas shot 42% from the floor, including six of 35 from three-point range, and allowed the Kings to shoot 55.6% in the game. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in the loss.

The Mavericks enter this contest 17th in the league in scoring offense with 111.8 points per game on the season. Dallas stands 20th in rebounding with 43.4 boards per game while they rank 26th in assists by dishing out 22.5 dimes per contest. The Mavericks are 8th in scoring defense as they allow an average of 110 points per game on the year. Luka Doncic leads the team with 28.6 points, eight rebounds and 8.9 assists per contest this season. Kristaps Porzingis contributes 20.2 points plus 9.1 rebounds per game while Tim Hardaway Jr. (16 points) is also a solid contributor on the offensive end. Maxi Kleber, Jalen Brunson (12.5 points), Trey Burke, Dorian Finney-Smith, JJ Redick, Josh Richardson (12.1 points), James Johnson, Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein are key pieces in the Mavericks’ rotation. Dallas is 13th in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.9% as a team from beyond the arc. The Mavericks are 9th by knocking down 13.6 three-pointers per contest on the year. Dallas stands 18th in three-point shooting as they hit 35.9% from beyond the arc this season.

Hardaway Jr. (ankle) and Porzingis (knee) both missed Sunday’s game and will need to be monitored leading into tip-off for this game.

Miami Heat Chasing Top Spot in Southeast Division Race

Miami won their third straight and their seventh in the last nine games as they knocked off Charlotte on the road Sunday. The Heat entered Monday tied with the Hawks for the top spot. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the team stood sixth in the standings, 8.5 games behind the 76ers for the top spot, one game ahead of seventh-place Boston for the final guaranteed playoff spot and eight games ahead of 11th-place Toronto to be in the playoff picture at all. Against Charlotte, Miami led by three after one quarter and by seven at the half. The Heat saw their lead trimmed to two early in the second half before going on a 7-0 run to go up 72-63 with 9:36 to play in the third quarter. Their lead never dropped below five the rest of the way. Miami shot 51.1% from the field, including 11 of 38 from three-point range, and held a 42-39 edge on the glass in the game. Bam Adebayo finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists to pace six Miami players in double figures in the victory.

The Heat enters this one 27th in the league in scoring offense with 107 points per game this season. Miami is 28th in the league in rebounding with 41.7 boards a contest while the team stands 10th in assists by dishing out 26.2 dimes a night. The Heat stands 3rd in the league in scoring defense as they allow 107.3 points per game. Bam Adebayo is second on the team with 19.1 points plus 9.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per contest. Goran Dragic chips in 13 points plus 4.5 assists a night while Duncan Robinson puts up 13 points per contest. Tyler Herro (14.9 points) and Jimmy Butler (21.5 points, seven rebounds, 7.2 assists) are averaging in double figures as well. Precious Achiuwa, Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent, Trevor Ariza, Andre Iguodala, Kendrick Nunn (14.3 points) and Nemanja Bjelica are solid role players for the Heat. Miami is 18th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46.3% from the floor this season. The Heat stands 15th in threes per game by draining 12.6 triples per contest and the team is 26th in three-point shooting by hitting 34.9% from beyond the arc.

Oladipo (knee) has been out since April 9 and there is no timetable for his return. He and Herro (foot) won’t travel with the team over the weekend and their status is cloudy at best here.

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Both teams are trying to avoid falling into the play-in tournament field and that means picking up wins over the final couple weeks of the regular season. Dallas is dealing with some injury issues as they were minus Porzingis and Hardaway Jr. in their previous contest. On top of that, Doncic is nearing the threshold for suspension due to an accumulation of technical fouls, which is something that needs to be watched as well. Miami has won three straight games and they have pushed back into a tie for the top spot in the Southeast Division entering Monday. The Heat are at home here and that gives them a slight advantage in this one.

Prediction: Miami Heat -3

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Dallas is 24th in pace with 97.3 possessions a game. The Mavericks have taken major strides defensively but they face an even better defensive team in this contest. Meanwhile, Dallas is still a middle-of-the-pack attack offensively despite a solid rotation. Miami is just 29th in the league in tempo with 96.5 possessions a game as they tend to play at a slow pace. The Heat have had their struggles on the offensive end but their defense has done the job when it comes to keeping them in games. We saw a measly 176 points in the first meeting this season and while it makes sense that we’ll get more than that here, this one ends up short of the total with the Heat playing their third game in four nights here.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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