Miami Heat vs LA Clippers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: LA Clippers to defeat Miami Heat.

How to Watch

What: Miami Heat at LA Clippers

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Wednesday, 5 February 2020, 10:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Prime Ticket | WAXY 790 AM / S: WAQI 710 AM, AM 570 LA Sports

Miami Heat (Away)

Head Coach: Erik Spoelstra {All-Time 556-378 | MIA}

Season Record: 33-15

Projected Starting Five: (G) Kendrick Nunn – (G) Duncan Robinson – (F) Jimmy Butler – (F) Meyers Leonard – (C) Bam Adebayo

Top Performers

  • (F) Jimmy Butler – 34.8 MPG | 20.3 PPG | 6.8 RPG | 6.3 APG
  • (G) Kendrick Nunn – 30.3 MPG | 16.0 PPG | 3.5 APG | 2.8 RPG
  • (G) Goran Dragic – 28.1 MPG | 15.8 PPG | 5.0 APG | .391 3P%

The Miami Heat have cooled down from their early-season run and have settled into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. While their ability on the court is immense, their youthfulness has been a double-edged sword. They are an impressive 21-3 at home, but a mediocre 12-12 on the road.

The Miami Heat play hard, work hard, and grind with the best of them in the NBA. While they don’t own a rapid pace alike the top teams in the league, their defensive tenacity and offensive efficiency helps them keep pace with anybody.

They face off with an LA Clippers team that is no stranger to methodical play. The star power of George and Leonard will always be the story, but the blue-collar members of their team – Harrell, Beverley, Harkless – are who the Heat will have to reign in to win this match.

LA Clippers (Home)

Head Coach: Doc Rivers {All-Time 928-673 | ORL, BOS, LAC}

Projected Starting Five: (G) Patrick Beverley – (G) Paul George – (F) Kawhi Leonard – (F) Maurice Harkless – (C) Ivica Zubac

Season Record: 34-15

Top Performers

  • (F) Kawhi Leonard – 32.2 MPG | 27.5 PPG | 7.6 RPG | 5.1 APG
  • (G) Paul George – 30.1 MPG | 22.8 PPG | 5.9 RPG | 1.4 SPG
  • (G) Lou Williams – 30.0 MPG | 19.7 PPG | 6.0 APG | .357 3P%

The LA Clippers have found their way back to second place in the Western Conference. With a record of 34-15, the LA Clippers have rediscovered their form along with a healthy patch for their players. The Clippers are 6-4 in their last ten and 20-5 at home.

LA are no slouch on the defensive or the offensive side of the ball. Their incredible length and versatility when stopping the ball has caused teams fits. Top of the league in fouls drawn, the Clippers are both savvy and aggressive when exploiting their opponents.

The Clippers take on a Miami Heat team that is also 6-4 in their last ten games. The inside-outside combo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will be difficult to manage for them. LA was victorious in their last match against the Heat, but by slim margins.

What’s at Stake?

The Miami Heat and the LA Clippers don’t see each other often, seeing as they are in opposite conferences. Over the course of 62 regular-season meetings, the Heat lead the Clippers 36-26.

A win for the Miami Heat would give them a half-game lead over the Boston Celtics.

A win for the LA Clippers would bring them within three games of the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers.

Questions to Answer

Can Miami learn from their mistakes?

Can Kawhi Leonard continue his spectacular run of form?

We are going to compare the Miami Heat and the LA Clippers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

MIA: Protect the Rim!

Despite the fact that the LA Clippers are a better than average shooting team from three, the Miami Heat will have to focus on protecting the rim when they face Kawhi Leonard and his squad.

The LA Clippers are ranked seventh in the NBA in points in the paint. Scoring 49.2 of their points (42.6% of their total) at the rim, the Heat will have to show they have the interior presence to stave off the attacks of Leonard, George, and most notably Montrezl Harrell.

That isn’t to say that the Heat are ill-equipped for the task though. Miami are ranked eighth in the league in paint points allowed per game, 45.7 to be exact. While they rank 26th in the league in blocks per game, the Heat are more than capable of swarming incoming scorers.

LAC: Consistency is Key

The LA Clippers struggled in their last game against the Miami Heat last time out due to their inconsistency on both the offensive and the defensive end of the court. Despite taking a win, they were challenged by the Heat’s depth.

The Clippers failed to show their quality to open and close the game. They lost the first and fourth quarters by a combined 19 points. Fortunately, their 79 points in the second and third were able to power them through.

The defensive efforts of Leonard did little to slow the Heat as they tried to regain ground in the fourth. The Heat will be encouraged, but the Clippers were missing key pieces in Patrick Beverley and Paul George. With a healthy roster, expect the Clippers to get off to a fast start.

MIA: Three and D

Erik Spoelstra has created an incredible system for the pieces he has. While Jimmy Butler has never been an out-and-out star for any team, his all-around ability and effort has bolstered the Heat on both ends.

This is no more evident than their incredible defensive and offensive efficiency. The Heat are only average in three-pointers attempted, but they are second in the league in percentage. On the defensive side of the ball, they allow the third-most three-point attempts per game but maintain the best three-point percentage allowed in the league (32.8%).

To take down the Clippers the Heat will have to be certain of their defensive game plan. They weren’t able to contain the Clippers consistently in their last meeting and gave up the match despite an inspired late run. Completing defensive possessions by securing the glass will be the difference-maker, as they lost the rebounding battle 48-37 last time out.

LAC: It’s About Kawhi Leonard

Let nobody be confused, the success of the LA Clippers will always ride on the play of two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. The Clippers have won eight of their last nine with him in the lineup, and his contributions have been immense.

Over his last nine games, Leonard is averaging 34.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.2 steals in only 33.2 minutes of play. He is leading his team with incredible scoring efficiency and has been spectacular getting to the line.

His ability to breakdown the Heat’s defense is what won them the day last time out. While he may not always shoot well from the field, Leonard’s distribution and the attention he draws makes him the most dangerous man on the court. If he’s on his game, the Heat don’t stand a chance.

Miami Heat Roster Notes

(F) Justise Winslow – 17 Jan 2020 – Out (Back) – Winslow will miss the next two weeks, according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

LA Clippers Roster Notes

(G) Derrick Walton – 1 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Elbow) – Walton Jr. did not play in Saturday’s (Feb. 1) game against the Kings.

Head-to-Head: (C) Bam Adebayo vs (C) Ivica Zubac

Take a look at the pivot position for the matchup of the evening. When the Heat and the Clippers play, Bam Adebayo’s incredible all-around play will be tested by the length of Ivica Zubac.

(C) Bam Adebayo (6-9, 255lb (206cm, 115kg) | Kentucky | 2 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 MIA 48 34.6 15.7 10.5 4.7 .581 .091

Bam Adebayo’s meteoric rise as a player has been rewarded with his first NBA All-Star berth, joining teammate Jimmy Butler. Adebayo has gone from a ceiling energy player to a potential first-option over just three seasons.

If there is a weakness in Adebayo’s game, it is his shooting ability. He more than makes up for it with his passing ability though, contributing five or more assists in six of his last eight matches. His playmaking will be essential in drawing Zubac out of the paint.

(C) Ivica Zubac (7-0, 240lb (213cm, 108kg) | Bosnia and Herzegovina | 3 Years)

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
19-20 22 LAC 49 17.7 8.0 7.1 1.0 .578 .000

Ivica Zubac is likely the most under appreciated player on the LA Clippers roster. While modest in his overall production, Zubac is the anchor for the LA defence and a key screener in their attack.

Zubac might not be one of the NBA’s blocks leaders, but he changes shot attempts at the rim as well as anyone else in the league. He has contributed a block in the last four games and will be essential in stopping the Heat’s patented paint attack.

Miami Heat at LA Clippers Predictions

Why the Miami Heat Will Win

The Miami Heat almost took their last match against the LA Clippers, had it not been for their inability to hit shots from the outside. If they can limit the Clippers scoring while also getting back on track themselves, they can take this game.

Why the LA Clippers Will Win

The LA Clippers are the odds-on favorite to take this game. They are stronger overall and have multiple players that can save a broken play. Their defense will be the difference-maker, as it was in their last outing against the Heat.

WSN’s Pick

The LA Clippers showed that they have what it takes when the game is on the line in their last meeting with the Heat. When these two teams face off again, the Clippers experience and defensive side will win them the day.

WSN Picks: LA Clippers to defeat Miami Heat.

Miami Heat vs LA Clippers

The odds for the Heat vs the Clippers are provided by SugarHouse NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

If you’re new to betting then check out our article/video on how to bet on the NBA in order to get a leg up on your best bets!

Good luck!

Sportsbook Heat Clippers
SugarHouse NJ +205 -250
DraftKings +205 -250
888Sport NJ +205 -250

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