Miami Heat to Face Clippers Because NBA Makes Them


I know there’s a game taking place this Sunday because it says so on the schedule. It could be rather hard to find, what with the NFL playoffs dominating the television landscape but it’s there…tickets have been sold (presumably) and everything. The game will include the Los Angeles Clippers.

It may even include the Miami Heat.

There’s no point in previewing a Heat game this season as they follow two typical patterns: One, stay competitive in the first half, no matter the opponent, and watch as a double-digit lead inexplicably evaporates. Or two, do something completely unexpected and pull a victory out of…somewhere victories aren’t normally found.

Personally, I think the Heat will find a way to win on Sunday afternoon against the Clippers, which would definitely fit into the second category of “unexpected victory.” The Clips have their weaknesses, sure, and quite possible don’t like each other (We’ve got them beat there! Miami teammates seem to like each other, even Mario Chalmers…) But they’re still a very good team in the West (currently at 25-12) and are strongest at a position where the Heat is weakest, the point guard (sorry, Mario).

Still, Miami has done the unexpected all season long. Start off 5-2 after losing your best player to free agency? Check? Lose four of the next five games? Check. Beat LeBron James on Christmas? You bet. Blow a seven-game homestand? But of course!

It’s overly-simplistic to just chalk up Miami’s season to unpredictable but how else do you explain the pattern of third-quarter self-combustion? The Heat have no answers and seem to be turning on one another and their coach as a result. So how else to respond but with a victory in L.A.?

From a technical standpoint, the matchup between Chris Bosh and Blake Griffin is worth watching; Bosh, now at the power forward position, will be guarding Griffin directly. While the Clippers’ All-Star is still explosive, his range has expanded and minimized his overall effectiveness.

At center, Chris Andersen will have to do whatever he can to limit DeAndre Jordan‘s lob-catching skills. When Miami last faced the Clips, L.A.’s frequent attacks at the rim forced Heat defenders out of position all night, particularly along the perimeter. If the tandem of Andersen and Hassan Whiteside can prevent the Clippers from being effective in the paint, Chalmerrs, Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade can focus on containing Chris Paul, J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford from 3-point range.

So, let’s recap, shall we? The Heat have lost eight of their last 11 games, are struggling regularly in the second half of games. The Clippers are an offensive powerhouse and are playing at home.

Yeah, sounds like a Miami victory for sure.

Check back with All U Can Heat after the game for a full recap, post-game grades and analysis. 

Next: Get To Know Hassan Whiteside