Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat Game Preview

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In the first meeting between them this season, both teams are playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Bradley Beal’s return last night wasn’t enough as the Wizards had their five-game winning streak snapped, falling 97-87 to the Charlotte Hornets. Miami also welcomed back its star, as Jimmy Butler returned from a three-game absence to lift the Heat to a third straight victory. The Heat rolled over the lowly New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

A key component in the success of both sides has been their strong play on the defensive end of the floor. Washington has emerged from one of the league’s worst clubs defensively (30th and 16th the past two seasons) to one of the best. The Wizards sit fourth in defensive rating and hold their opponents to 103 points per game.

As for Erik Spoelstra’s Heat, they’re no stranger to sound defensive play. Spoelstra has his club allowing just 102.7 points per game and rank seventh in defensive rating.

Offensively, Miami holds a decided advantage. The Heat have the league’s fourth-best offensive rating, while their 110.3 points per contest rank sixth. Washington, meanwhile, sits 19th in overall offensive efficiency and 18th in points per game at 106.9.

That said, you will want to pay close attention to the injury report before going all-in on Miami. Bam Adebayo, who missed last night’s game with a bruised knee, is listed as questionable, and there is no guarantee that Butler plays after logging 36 mins in his return from a right ankle injury. Kyle Lowry should be active following his load management.

As for the Wizards, they will be without key starter Spencer Dinwiddie (rest), Davis Bertans (left ankle sprain), Rui Hachimura (personal), and Thomas Bryant (ACL recovery).

Assuming that two of either Adebayo, Lowry, or Butler are active, the Heat should have no problem winning their fourth consecutive game. While the Wizards are 9-5-1 against the spread this season, the absence of Dinwiddie in an already inconsistent offense makes Miami’s -295 moneyline, and -7 spread that much more appealing. Roll with the Heat tonight. 

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