LIVE: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat

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FRI, NOV 29, 2019
8:00 PM ET
Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida

After defeating the Chicago Bulls, the Golden State Warriors will try to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when taking on the Miami Heat at South Beach. The struggling Warriors finally put together a performance good enough to capture their fourth win on Wednesday night. They’ll now turn their attention towards being the first team to defeat the Heat at the American Airlines Arena this season. Miami is coming off a 117-108 road loss to the Houston Rockets.

Warriors end three-game losing streak

It wasn’t too long ago when it was raining 3-pointers and championship confetti for the Warriors, but there has been nothing but bad news and disappointment so far this season for the former champions. Injuries have ravaged the roster to an extent that is rarely seen in sports. The season ended before it even began for the Warriors, and they’ll be looking to extract any positives that they can.

Beating the Heat in Miami would count as one of those much-needed positive moments. They managed to avoid a four-game losing streak in Wednesday’s game against the Bulls. A win over the Heat would be their first consecutive win of the season.

They may have to run through a brick wall on offense when facing the league’s fourth-ranked defense. The Heat have looked unstoppable at home with their ability to force so many contested shots. They currently lead the league in shutting down the 3-point shot with opposing teams averaging 31.2 percent per game. The undermanned Warriors don’t even have the Splash Brothers to counter that sort of elite defensive presence.

Perhaps the saddest development has been the rapid drop-off in offensive efficiency for the Warriors. They have dipped from being a magical 3-point shooting machine to the seventh-worst offense in the league. It isn’t helping matters that D’Angelo Russell and Damion Lee have been sidelined with injuries.

Can the Heat keep the streak alive?

The Heat will come into Friday’s game hell-bent on keeping their unblemished home record intact. Call it the American Airlines Graveyard for all of the opponents that have been crushed for standing in the way of their journey. They are surely looking forward to adding the Warriors to that list.

Don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for a team that has won multiple championships and broken nearly every offensive record in existence.

The Heat will come into this game hoping to put their loss to the Rockets in the rearview. They’re a top-10 defensive team playing against an offense that sits in the bottom-half of the league in nearly every important statistically category. The mighty fell from the heavens and came crashing back down to Earth.

Unlike previous seasons, the Heat actually has the offense to back up their defensive prowess. The addition of Jimmy Butler has given then a solid veteran forward that can hold his own against any player in the league. He is also getting considerable help from Kendrick Dunn and Goran Dragic. The Heat won’t need a special performance to crack the Warriors’ moribund defense. All they need to do is show up.

The Heat are about to become the next team in a long line to punish the Warriors for what they did to the league when they still had the big-four on the same roster—Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

There is plenty to be encouraged about from what the Warriors are seeing from rookie second-round draft pick Eric Paschall. However, the fact that he’s the team’s leading scorer doesn’t bode well for them in Friday’s game against an elite defensive team. Center Bam Adebayo will dominate the boards when matched up with Golden State’s Willie Cauley-Stein. The lack of second-chance opportunities and shooting space will lead to the Warriors drowning early in this game.

It won’t be long before Butler and company are rolling against a Warriors’ team that won’t show the slightest in defensive resistance. Such has been the case so far this season. Give me the Heat on Friday.

Prediction: Miami Heat

The offensive collapse of the Warriors now has them sitting in the bottom-half of the league averaging 107.4 points per game. That number will look significantly worse going on the road against an elite defensive team that has yet to lose in their home building. The Heat have looked like a completely different team when playing at the American Airlines Center instead of being on the road.

They have also played an easy slate of opponents. However, that observation doesn’t mean much considering the Warriors should serve as another cakewalk opponent. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under

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