|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Washington Wizards||+6.5 (-110)
|O 211.5 (-110)
|Miami Heat||-6.5 (-110)
|U 211.5 (-110)
Odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Both of these Eastern Conference teams are missing a number of key players for this match. While the Wizards have improved their depth, they’re still severely lacking against a well-drilled Miami Heat team who are bolstered by some returning players.
Miami Heat def. Washington Wizards (-275)
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|Washington Wizards||Head-to-Head||Miami Heat
|Wes Unseld||Head Coach||Erik Spoelstra|
|17-16 (7th in East)||Standing||21-13 (4th in East)|
|108.4 (23rd of 30)||Off Rtg||111.4 (7th of 30)|
|111.3 (23rd of 30)||Def Rtg||107.3 (7th of 30)|
|96.5 (25th of 30)||Pace||95.5 (30th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|B. Beal (23.3)||PPG||J. Butler (22.5)|
|K. Kuzma (7.9)||RPG||B. Adebayo (10.2)|
|B. Beal (5.9)||APG||K. Lowry (8.2)|
|K. Caldwell-Pope (1.3)||SPG||J. Butler (2.2)|
|D. Gafford (1.7)||BPG||C. Martin (0.6)|
|D. Gafford (.646)/B. Beal (9.0)||FG%/FGM||D. Dedmon (.575)/T. Herro (7.7)|
|K. Caldwell-Pope (.378)/K. Caldwell-Pope (2.0)||3P%/3PM||P. Tucker (.455)/D. Robinson (2.8)|
|Thomas Bryant||Washington Wizards||25 Oct 2021||Out (Knee)||There is no timeline for Bryant’s return after undergoing ACL surgery.|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||Washington Wizards||21 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Caldwell-Pope is under the league’s health & safety protocols.|
|Raul Neto||Washington Wizards||26 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Neto is under the league’s health & safety protocols.|
|Bradley Beal||Washington Wizards||26 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Beal is under the league’s health & safety protocols.|
|Victor Oladipo||Miami Heat||23 Sep 2021||Out (Knee)||Oladipo has yet to be cleared to return.|
|Markieff Morris||Miami Heat||24 Nov 2021||Out (Neck)||There is no timetable for Morris’ return.|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat||7 Dec 2021||Out (Thumb)||Adebayo is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks after undergoing surgery on his thumb.|
|Dewayne Dedmon||Miami Heat||24 Dec 2021||Out (Knee)||Dedmon suffered a Grade 1 MCL Sprain in his left knee, and will miss the nest 1-2 weeks.|
|Kyle Lowry||Miami Heat||25 Dec 2021||Out (Health & Safety)||Lowry is under the league’s health & safety protocols.|
|P.J. Tucker||Miami Heat||26 Dec 2021||Day to Day (Leg)||Tucker did not play in Miami’s Sunday (Dec 26) game against Orlando.|
The Washington Wizards have a tough night on their hands as Bradley Beal isn’t expected to play and their offence grows significantly weaker without him. If they want to beat Miami, they must limit their turnovers.
In Miami’s last game, a win over the Orlando Magic, they were able to force 18 turnovers. The Wizards gave up just 8 turnovers to a similarly defensively focused Philadelphia 76ers team in their last game.
If Washington can limit their turnovers and find efficient opportunities on offence, they have a good chance against the Heat. If they are careless, the Heat will capitalize regardless of who is available.
Things got heated between Joel Embiid and Montrezl Harrell after this play ? pic.twitter.com/pbJTzRwrg0
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 27, 2021
The Wizards are going to be missing a few key ball handlers in this game, but it’ll be the big men that make the difference in this matchup. A force off the bench, Montrezl Harrell must take advantage of Miami’s thin frontcourt lineup.
Harrell is coming off of a 15-point, 4 rebound performance against the Philadelphia 76ers. While his ejection against the Sixers didn’t help his cause, he looks to have the advantage against Omer Yurtseven and Udonis Haslem.
Without their key scorer in Bradley Beal, Harrell’s production off the bench will be crucial. Easy finishes with few rim protectors could open up the whole game for Washington.
The Miami Heat are coming off of a low-scoring victory over the Orlando Magic. If they want to take down a high-tempo Wizards, team, they’ll need to find scoring from the deeper members of their bench.
In their last match, the Heat bench accounted for 28 of the team’s 93 points. Caleb Martin and Udonis Haslem stepped up for 25 of that 28, but they’ll need even more when Tyler Herro returns to the lineup.
The Heat are solid defensively, so their success will be based on how well they can create for each other. Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro stepped up their playmaking in their last game, leaving head coach Erik Spoelstra to expect the same.
— Overtime (@overtime) December 26, 2021
Sophomore guard Tyler Herro is one of the most exciting young players in the NBA. After being ejected from his last game, Herro must make up for it with a good performance against the Wizards.
With just Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson remaining as Miami’s usual starters, Herro’s production off the bench is crucial to Miami’s success. In his 19 minutes of play, Herro posted 2 points, 8 assists, and a steal on 1 of 5 shooting from the field.
It’s clear that Herro can affect the game in many ways, but his ability to score the ball is still most important when he’s leading the bench unit. With so few scorers available, Herro must make an impact for Miami to win.
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|Washington Wizards vs Miami Heat Information|
|Teams||Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat|
|Location||FTX Arena, December 28th, 2021|
|Time||7:30 PM EST, December 28th, 2021|
|How to Watch||NBA TV|
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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