The Miami Heat (39-42; 43-37-1 ATS) and the Brooklyn Nets (41-40; 44-37 ATS) will lock horns in their regular-season finale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, meeting each other for the fourth time this season. The Heat leads the series 2-1 including a 120-107 victory in the previous duel in Brooklyn. The Nets need a win on this one to clinch the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Heat is eliminated from the playoff contention after Detroit’s victory over Memphis last night.
The Heat will be without Josh Richardson (groin), but after his team has been eliminated from the playoff race, Erik Spoelstra could rest some players tonight. The Nets will miss Allen Crabbe (knee) and DeMarre Carroll (wrist), while Joe Harris (foot) is listed as questionable.
The Nets opened as 3.5-point favorites with the total at 218.0 points and the Heat at +155 money line odds. Brooklyn is listed as a fave against Miami for the first time this season, and the Nets are 6-1 straight up and 4-3 ATS in their last seven outings as favorites. Miami is 4-3 straight up and 5-2 ATS in its last seven showings as a dog.
What’s at Stake?
While this is a meaningless game for the visitors, the Nets need a victory to clinch the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn is tied with Orlando, but the Nets have a better H2H record. The Magic will visit Charlotte tonight.
The Heat is coming off a 122-99 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers last night to snap its four-game losing streak. Miami is 2-3 straight up and 3-2 ATS on the second day of its previous five back-to-back sets. The Nets had a couple of days to rest following a 108-96 victory at the Indiana Pacers.
Miami thrashed off Brooklyn 117-88 at home in their previous meeting on March 2, 2019. Miami completely dominated the Nets, allowing them to make just 35.2% of their field goals including nine triples out of 42 attempts from deep. The Heat made whopping 36 assists while hitting 48.9% of its field-goal attempts. It was a really bad night for the Nets, and I think they will play much better in tonight’s season finale.
D’Angelo Russell is a key player for the Nets this season, and he’s been playing very well lately, averaging 27.8 points, 8.6 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game over his last ten outings. In his three meetings with the Heat this season, Russell was averaging only 14.0 points on 39.6% shooting from the field and 26.7% from downtown, so he has to step up tonight when his team really needs it.
On the other side, it will be interesting to see who will play for the Heat. Erik Spoelstra has been unpredictable with his rotations all season long. Dwyane Wade should enjoy his final NBA contest, and he’s averaging 19.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.2 assists over his last ten apps. Wade dropped 30 points on the Sixers last night.
Miami is scoring 107.5 points per 100 possessions this season (26th in the league) on 45.0% shooting from the field (tied-22nd) and 35.0% from beyond the arc (20th). The Heat is allowing 107.8 points per 100 possessions (7th in the league) on 44.3% shooting from the field (tied-2nd) and 36.0% from downtown (22nd).
Brooklyn is tallying 109.7 points per 100 possessions (19th in the league) on 45.0% shooting from the field (tied-22nd) and 35.3% from beyond the 3-point line (15th). The Nets are surrendering 110.0 points in a return (15th in the league) on 45.7% shooting from the field (14th) and 34.4% from beyond the arc (7th).
The visitors are certainly tearful after last night’s elimination from the postseason, but they should try their best to make this game special for Dwyane Wade. Hereof, I don’t think they will take the floor with a white flag. However, the Nets would certainly like to avoid the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, and they cannot count on the Hornets to beat the Magic, so the hosts just have to win this game. They are playing in a good form at the moment, winning their last two games at Milwaukee and Indiana, so I’m backing them to beat the Heat and cover the spread.
Considering some tough defenses on both sides, I don’t expect to see a high-scoring affair. The under has hit in the previous two H2H matchups, and it is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings between Miami and Brooklyn, so I’m backing the under.