Minnesota Timberwolves vs Miami Heat Preview and Predictions -02-26-2020
The Miami Heat are much more comfortable in front of their home fans, and they proved that once again with a disappointing road performance on Monday. The Heat will try to get back in the win column when they return to a more familiar setting and host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Miami owns a 23-3 home record but fell to 13-18 on the road with a 125-119 overtime setback at Eastern Conference-worst Cleveland on Monday to mark their sixth consecutive road loss. “It looks and it sounds like a broken record,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after watching his team squander a 22-point lead. “Either myself or Bam (Adebayo) or (Udonis Haslem) or whoever, Jimmy (Butler), you want to bring anybody in here and talk after one of these road games, we all sound the same. We have an idea every game on the road what it tends to be: When the shots go dry, do we have the ability to sustain defensively and get enough stops to change the momentum?” Miami is fighting for homecourt advantage in the East and will play five straight and eight of its next 10 games at home starting with the Timberwolves, who are losers of five straight and 18 of their last 19. Minnesota is surrendering an average of 131.3 points in three games since the All-Star break and let the Mavericks score 81 points in the first half of a 139-123 loss at Dallas on Monday.
TIME: 7:30 p.m. ET. TV: FS North, FS Sun
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (16-40): Minnesota remade its roster at the trade deadline and is operating without star center Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist), leaving a team on the floor struggling to adjust to each other on the fly. “It’s hard to (assess yourselves) when we lose the way we lose, but we find a way to put points on the board,” Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell, who arrived in trade from the Golden State Warriors at the deadline. “It’s hard to scout for a team like us that you don’t have a system in play right now. We’re not executing 100 percent of the time. It’s hard to scout for that. It’s also hard to gauge for ourselves where we are.” Russell scored a team-high 29 points on Monday while fellow newcomer Malik Beasley added 21.
ABOUT THE HEAT (36-21): Adebayo collected 22 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, four blocks and three steals in Monday’s contest but was frustrated after the contest with the team’s repeated breakdowns on the defensive end. “I feel like when we miss a couple of shots in a row and they score, that’s when it starts,” Adebayo told reporters. “When we’re missing shots, how do we keep our defense set up. Force them to miss, to get stops.” Miami played its second consecutive game on Monday without All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler (personal), who is questionable for Wednesday, while rookie guard Tyler Herro (foot) is out of a walking boot but remains without a timetable for a return.
1. Timberwolves SG Allen Crabbe (personal) missed the last two games and is day-to-day.
2. Heat rookie SG Duncan Robinson knocked down at least five 3-pointers in six of his last seven games.
3. Minnesota claimed its third consecutive victory in the series with a 116-109 home win on Oct. 27.
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami, Florida. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, and have won three NBA championships.
The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team. After a period of mediocrity, the Heat would gain relevance during the 1990s following the appointment of former head coach Pat Riley in the role of team president. Riley would construct the high-profile trades of Alonzo Mourning in 1995, and of Tim Hardaway in 1996, which immediately propelled the team into playoff contention. Mourning and Hardaway would eventually lead the Heat to four division titles, prior to their departures in 2001 and 2002, respectively. As a result, the team struggled, and entered into a rebuild in time for the 2002–03 season.
Led by Dwyane Wade, and following a trade for former NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Shaquille O’Neal, Miami advanced to play in the NBA Finals in 2006, where they clinched their first championship, led by Riley as head coach. After the departure of O’Neal two years later, the team entered into another period of decline for the remainder of the 2000s. This saw the resignation of Riley as head coach, who returned to his position as team president, and was replaced by Erik Spoelstra.
In 2010, after creating significant cap space, the Heat partnered Wade with former league MVP LeBron James, and perennial NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, creating the “Big Three”. During their four-year spell together, and under the guise of Spoelstra, James, Wade, and Bosh, they would lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in every season, and won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. The trio would all depart by 2016, and the team entered another period of rebuilding. Wade was eventually reacquired in 2018, albeit to retire with the franchise.
The Heat hold the record for the NBA’s third-longest winning streak, 27 straight games, set during the 2012–13 season. Four Hall of Famers have played for Miami, while James has won the NBA MVP Award while playing for the team.