While the Heat are riding a four-game losing streak, they’ll look to bounce back and get back on solid ground against a short-handed Clippers tonight. Both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were absent in LA’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks, and will be expected to miss tonight’s game as well due to COVID-19 protocols. This opens the door wide open for the Heat to step in and steal a win as they begin to climb the mountain back up the standings all the way from 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
Miami isn’t without their own absences, as Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Goran Dragic are all listed as questionable ahead of tonight’s clash. Butler hasn’t played since January 9th in Miami’s 128-124 win over the Wizards where he dropped 26 points — he’s been out due to COVID-19 protocols since then, missing the last nine games. Bam Adebayo has been picking up a lot of the scoring slack, scoring 41 against the Nets last weekend, and scoring double digits in their last seven outings.
LA Clippers vs. Miami Heat, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass
Pick ATS: Heat -4
It’s not too surprising that Miami is favored to win this one considering how many key players the Clippers will be missing. If Adebayo can continue doing his thing and the Heat can get a couple more double-digit performances from guys like Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson, they have a great chance of snapping their losing streak. The Clippers are sorely missing the offensive prowess of Leonard and George, who are averaging 25.9 and 23.9 points per game so far this season, respectively. Their absence really showed on Tuesday night as the Hawks cruised to a 108-99 win over LA, and it’s clear Miami will be looking to take advantage in the same way.
Player Prop: Serge Ibaka O 1.5 three-pointers (+110)
It’s true that Ibaka isn’t known for his flurry of threes each game — he’s only averaging 37% on three-pointers taken all season long. But he’s gone 4-for-7 through his last three games, and went 2-for-2 earlier this week against the Thunder. With Leonard and George both out, it’s not impossible for Ibaka to attempt and make at least two from long range tonight, and could prove to be a worthwhile bet regardless of the game’s final outcome.
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