UPDATE: LEBRON, WADE, AND CHALMERS ARE ALL OUT! (They’re pulling a reverse Spurs!)
Fast Break Points:
- Last time these teams played on November 29th, the Heat essentially played the Spurs’ bench as Gregg Popovich had sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Danny Green back to San Antonio the night before to rest. This started controversy over the NBA schedule and ended with the Spurs being fined $250,000.
- The amazing thing about the Heat-Spurs game is that even though the Spurs were playing without their Big Three (and a Half — I didn’t forget about you Danny Green) they played the Heat pretty close, thanks to superstars such as Matt “The Ginger Bomber” Bonner (10 points), Boris Diaw (12 points), Tiago Splitter (18 points), Nando de Colo (15 points; his name sounds like some tropical disease or a South American delicacy involving scorpions and guinea pig liver) and Gary Neal (20 points).
- Highlights From Last Time They Played:
- Will Mario Chalmers play? He was out last game against the New Orleans Hornets with an injured sprained ankle. He was listed as day-to-day, but having him contribute significant minutes would be a huge boon since when he plays, the Heat score 10 points more than they give up.
- Manu Ginobili is out after suffering a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the Spurs’ win over the Clippers. The Spurs are +7.7 when he plays.
- LeBron was 7-10 from three point line against the Hornets. Can he keep up the hot outside shooting? If so, he will be unguardable.
- The Heat are 25-12 on the road, and the Spurs are 32-4 at home. Make no mistake, this is gonna be a rock-’em-sock-’em match-up, and sportsbooks have the Spurs favored by 1.5 points.
- Between two relatively bad rebounding teams (Miami are 30th in the league in rebounds per game; the Spurs are 22nd) who will get the boards? This will be important since both teams can make you pay on second chance points as the Heat are 5th in the NBA in points per game and the Spurs are 4th.
- The Spurs are 1st in the NBA in assists per game, and the Miami Heat are fourth in the NBA in forcing turnovers. How will the Spurs’ passing hold up against the Heat’s defense?
- Entertainment Interlude: Who Has the Best Harlem Shake Video?
- This game is key for getting the NBA overall number one seed. If the Heat win tonight, this will make the path to the number one seed, and home court advantage in the NBA Finals, a lot easier. If the Spurs win, they will only be one game behind the Heat for the overall seed, putting pressure on the Heat to keep winning, especially since these two teams could meet in the NBA Finals (though the Oklahoma City Thunder could have something to say about that).