Matchup: Miami Heat vs Denver Nuggets
Records: Heat (25-29); Nuggets (37-18)
Where To Watch
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 12
Time: 7:30 AM IST
TV: Sony ESPN
Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Unfortunately, the Heat have been very inconsistent since the New Year.
They have lost five of their last six and nine of their last thirteen overall which includes five of their last nine on the road.
With the league's seventh-best defense, the Miami Heat have restricted their opponents to under 100 points in 15 of their 25 wins
The Heat is missing their starting point guard Goran Dragic but they did welcome Dion Waiters back to the line-up earlier in January. A large part of their season has been highlighted by it being the final year for 3-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade.
The jersey swapping has now become a tradition after every Heat game. Here's the more recent noteworthy one:
3🔁30 pic.twitter.com/xzfpUUOF5c- Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 11, 2019
With their recent form, the Heat have slipped out of the Playoff spots in the East but not by a lot. At the time of writing, Miami is tied with the Detroit Pistons for the eighth seed but are ranked ninth as they don't hold the tiebreaker.
About 10 ten days back, when the Nuggets clinched a victory in Minnesota (their sixth straight win and the first game of a 4-game road trip), their coach Michael Malone was selected as the representative to coach Team LeBron in the All-Star Game.
However, since that game, they have lost three straight (@ Detroit, @ Brooklyn, and @ Philadlephia ) while the Golden State Warriors have won all their games in the same span, increasing the gap between these two teams for the West's top seed to 3 games.
The team's biggest strength is their depth (guards and forwards). The most obvious and biggest reason for Denver's success is Nikola Jokic. The Serbian center is averaging 20.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 7.7 assists on 50.8% shooting. He has recorded eleven triple-doubles for the season (second-most) and ranks 4th in ESPN's PER (27.47).
The biggest team improvement for the team has been on the defensive end of the floor. It has slipped from their performance at the beginning of the season but the young team's defensive rating is still 15th, much better than their ranking last year - 23rd.
- The Denver Nuggets have the best home record in the league - 23-4 (85.1%).
- Despite being the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have a winning record on the road - 14-13.
- This will be Miami's eighth back-to-back of the season and they have gone 4-3 in the second night of the seven previous back-to-backs.
- The Nuggets are said to be without Isaiah Thomas (Hip), Gary Harris (Groin), and Michael Porter Jr. (Back). Meanwhile, Paul Millsap (Ankle) is said to be a game-time decision.
- The Heat will certainly be without the duo of Goran Dragic (Knee) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Knee), Yante Maten (Ankle) is a game-time decision.
Last Time They Played
Date: Jan. 9, 2019
Score: Nuggets 103-99 Heat
Nuggets: Nikola Jokic - 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists on 11-of-21 shooting
Heat: Dwyane Wade - 10 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.