The Heat will travel to the Staples Center in LA looking to win for the sixth time in their last seven outings, but they’ll have to overturned a previous 0-5 record when visiting the Clippers.
Not all the star power will be in display with Chris Paul set to miss the game, but Blake Griffin and LeBron James going head to head is something that all NBA fans will be wanting to see this evening.
LA come in to this on the back of a disappointing defeat in Denver. The Clippers, leading by two points with mere 10ths of a second remaining, went down 116-115 to a 3 point buzzer beat from Randy Foye. It puts them in the situation of needing to bounce back, especially after losing 102-97 to the Heat earlier this season.
The Clippers will want to make a statement that says they’re a serious contender this season, whilst we all know the Heat are still potentially the best team in the NBA, even with Indiana’s increased dominance.
Miami would surprise no one if tonight was one of the night’s they decide to turn it on and remind people who they are and what they can do.
Both teams are averaging over 108 points per 100 possessions, whilst Miami’s 50.9% field goal percentage is the best in the NBA, largely helped by the consistency of LeBron James, of course.
The Clippers lag behind at 47%, so it’s going to be key they make use of the presence of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, and keep Miami away from the basket. Easier said than done, I’m sure.
For the Clippers however, a sign of encouragement will be Miami’s near 103.0 defensive rating. Despite the loss of Chris Paul, LA put up their best offensive numbers of the season in January, averaging 108.9 points per game.
They’ve opened up February with a 15 point win in Utah and the harsh 115-116 loss in Denver, but they’re still scoring even with Collison at the point.
A huge part of that run has been the form of Blake Griffin, averaging 26 points on 55.4% percent through his last 14 games, and that’s the least they’ll need from Blake if they’re going to compete this evening.
For Miami this is the first of a six game road trip, whilst the Clippers will be wanting to make use of home-court advantage before a 4 game road swing themselves, starting in Toronto on Friday.
The home side is 15-5ATS in the past 20 meetings in this series, whilst as I mentioned earlier the Heat are 0-5 in their previous five games on the Clippers home court.
Miami are just 1-4ATS on the back of a win and 2-5ATS in their last seven taking on a team above .600. Finally, Miami are also 1-4ATS against a winning home team whilst the Clippers are 10-4ATS as a home favorite of 0.5-4.5 points.
Back the Clippers -2 at home this evening, which is 37/40 with Sportingbet.
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