4. Feb. 13 at Milwaukee
The Heat go on a two-game trip to end their pre-All-Star slate, starting off with a visit to see Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks (33-17).
For Heat fans, this is a bittersweet matchup, considering everything that transpired in the 2023 offseason. But nonetheless, life goes on and he isn't here. This is a key game against a team they could see in the playoffs.
The Bucks are dealing with their own concerns. They recently hired Doc Rivers to replace Adrian Griffin as head coach, and the defense has been worse than last season. The Heat have Adebayo -- the league's best player to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo -- and the recipe to take them down despite the struggles this year.
The Bucks do have a 2-0 regular season series lead over the Heat, but it's hard to put real stock into those wins. The Heat didn't have Adebayo for the first game or Butler for the second.
To beat the Bucks on the offensive end, players are going to have to attack mismatches and hit 3s at a high rate. This could be a game for Herro and Rozier. Attacking the drop is key, and the pull-up shots will be key. It would also help for Rozier to attack Lillard and get into the paint.
This should be a close one that could go either way depending on who is hitting their 3-pointers. It sounds lazy to chalk it up to make or miss, but that is how both teams play -- especially against each other.
It might be a hot take, but the Heat can pull this one out. Spoelstra is known to outcoach Rivers and the Heat know how to play them. Hopefully, Duncan Robinson will return from concussion protocol by then to help the shooting. This could be the Heat's biggest win of the season so far.
Prediction: Heat win