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Miami Heat at Utah Jazz Game Preview: Can the Jazz go on a win streak?

Miami Heat (10-12) @ Utah Jazz (6-16)
EnergySolutions Arena • Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 p.m. (MT) • TV: ROOT Sports • Radio: 1280 AM / 97.5 FM

Next on America's skinniest power forwards . . .
Next on America's skinniest power forwards . . .
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz exorcised some demons in their last game with a suspiciously proficient win against the NBA World Champion San Antonio Spurs. Sure, they won by only 4 points, but it's a LOT better than their previous nine games where they lost by a combined 93 points. (Math Quiz Time! That's losing by an average of -10.3 points per game during the previous nine games) A single win, by any margin, stops the bleeding. Going out there and winning a second game in a row, going on a win streak for our own, would be the next step. Utah just may get their chance tonight against the ailing Miami Heat.

Tonight the Heat will play the fifth game of a five game road trip that had them put up a loss @ Milwaukee, a loss @ Memphis, a win @ Phoenix, a loss @ Denver . . . and will now face the Jazz. This will be their fifth game in eight nights, which isn't even the worst thing in the world. Heck, they didn't even play last night! I guess winning championships means that even your long road trips in the other conference are even spread out.

So, Miami could be tired. But one thing we know they are is hurt. Starting power forward Josh McRoberts is out for tonight. First big off the bench, Chris Andersen, is also out. Luol Deng and Norris Cole are both probable for tonight. And Dwyane Wade is questionable, as he has suddenly fallen ill and missed shoot around. A healthy Heat team is a playoff contender in the East. One that's missing a slew of players isn't. This season their best player is a rejuvenated Chris Bosh -- but it's really a guy like Wade that the Jazz would have trouble with. If he's not capable of playing tonight then, well, the Jazz will have a shot at winning two in a row.

Xs and Os:

This era of Heat basketball isn't predicated on amazing defense and an unstoppable offensive attack in transition. Only one team plays slower than the Heat this year, and their defense is 26th in the NBA by DEF RTG. Their offense is still solid, but is slightly on the low side of the middle of the pack at 18th in OFF RTG. If given a chance they can score with the best of them, but on this road trip they haven't really been doing that, managing only 85, 87, 103, and 82 points so far on this trip.

Offensively the Heat go to the line a lot, and have a ton of three point shooters (who also make their shots) so they are a threat inside and out. They don't really take care of the ball that well, and RARELY get the offensive rebound (29th in ORB%, and 29th in ORB per game). Utah doesn't pressure the ball, but if they take care of their defensive glass it could make the Heat a one and done type of team on offense.

On defense, well, the Heat and Jazz are still both trying to figure it out.

Heat Players:

2014 2015 Game 023 MIA at UTA - Heat Players

Jazz Players:

2014 2015 Game 023 MIA at UTA - Jazz Players

I can't believe I update this for every single game . . . where's my parade . . . ?


Jazz are healthy, and even have a NEW player now in Patrick Christopher!

The Heat are missing a bunch of guys: Josh McRoberts (OUT), Chris Andersen (OUT), Dwyane Wade (Questionable), Norris Cole (Probable), Luol Deng (Probable). If four of those guys are out, I'll be happy.

Fearful Prediction:

They Heat will go for 30+ FTA, despite the injuries. And make us feel bad.