The Utah Jazz (6-4) and the Miami Heat (2-5) are going to tip off in a bit. I love how the Jazz have played a billion more games than them at this point, but whatever. The Heat have a few rings on their player’s fingers and a few banners in their arena. The Jazz do not. And I guess schedules just co-incidentally work out that way. Anyway, the Heat were an expansion franchise in the late 80s. And the Jazz have been playing in Miami for a while. Utah is 34-24 all-time against Miami, but a big part of that seems to stem from playing Miami when they are on a long West coast trip, and playing on the second night of the back-to-back. Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as Utah almost ALWAYS plays Miami on the second night of a back-to-back, the third night in four games, and also the fifth night in seven. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing tonight.
A tired team, missing players.
As a result, the Jazz / Heat record in their gym is 13-15 in their favor. It’s been pretty much even because for the longest time the Jazz were the better team, but playing on long trips. Recent history has a super team purchased for in Miami, and that squad held things down. In the post-Stockton-and-Malone era Utah has only won in Miami three times.
Overall, these games are close. It averages out to a MIA 95.89 - UTA 94.61 finals score. That’s a difference of free throws. Of course, there are blowouts that have happened that influence the average score, but are — as expected -- skewed in favor of the home team.
But for the most part, 18 of the 28 games are with a final margin of +/- 10 points. Not bad, right?
Does this have any bearing on tonight? Well, the Heat will be without Chris Bosh (out for the season, likely), Goran Dragic, Josh McRoberts, and Wayne Ellington. The Jazz will be out without George Hill, Alec Burks, and Boris Diaw. Utah is tired. Miami is rested.
I’d argue that we’d see a blowout tonight, except I don’t think the Heat are good enough to blow the Jazz out right now. And by typing this I have ensured that the Jazz will be blown out tonight. So when that happens, you can blame me for it.