The San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat come into this fixture having won their previous two games as they chase a playoff berth in their respective conferences. The Spurs continued their impressive road form this season by overcoming the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile, Bam Adebayo helped the Heat outlast the Brooklyn Nets before Kendrick Nunn led them to a blowout win against the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Fixture - Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Wednesday, April 21st; 8:30 PM ET (Thursday, April 22nd; 6:00 AM IST).
Venue - AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Miami Heat Preview
Easing past the Houston Rockets doesn't particularly prove much to the Miami Heat fanbase, particularly with their two stars sidelined. At the moment, it is unclear when Jimmy Butler will return; he is currently out with a minor ankle injury. However, there was good news regarding Victor Oladipo, who could be back this season for the franchise.
It is difficult to gage the Miami Heat's playoff hopes. Their starting lineup has changed frequently this season and several players are producing less on offense.
Coach Spoelstra's side are still menacing on defense, as proven by Adebayo's efforts against Kyrie Irving on Sunday. The Miami Heat rank third in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage. The team has a knack for forcing their opponents into difficult shots.
Key Player - Kendrick Nunn
Kendrick Nunn had the sort of dominant performance the Miami Heat needed, with Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both out on Monday. Earning back his starting berth in the Heat lineup with Victor Oladipo sidelined, Nunn has returned to the form he showed last season after struggling to score effectively through March.
Nunn's 30 points against Houston was a season-high for the 26-year-old and capped off a run of six games in which he averaged 15.5 points on 52% shooting from the field. During that time, Nunn also shot the 3-ball at 40% on 6.7 attempts per night and dished out 3.8 assists per game.
While not as creative on offense, Nunn has proven he can be a valuable second option to the Miami Heat for the playoffs.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Kendrick Nunn l Shooting Guard - Duncan Robinson l Small Forward - Trevor Ariza l Power Forward - Andre Iguodala l Center - Bam Adebayo
San Antonio Spurs Preview
While they haven't been consistent this season, the San Antonio Spurs look increasingly likely to earn a play-in berth.
Although the San Antonio Spurs have only won on four occasions in the last ten games, they sit 3.5 games ahead of the Pelicans in 11th seed. Their fixture run-in is challenging, though Gregg Popovich's side should have already clinched a spot in the West's second-chance tournament.
Their wins against Phoenix and Indiana showed just what the San Antonio Spurs can do on the road, limiting two usually high-scoring offenses with stifling defensive play. They have crept their way up the defensive efficiency standings recently. However, they still lack size in the paint, allowing too many rebounds and second-chance points.
Key Player - DeMar DeRozan
Although the San Antonio Spurs results have been see-sawing all season, DeMar DeRozan has been Mr. Consistent, averaging close to a double-double in every game. DeRozan is having a career year in offensive rating (123), in part due to his improved distribution.
The 31-year-old dishes out 7.2 dimes per game, 1.6 more than last season, and leads all San Antonio Spurs teammates.
DeRozan is also among the NBA's elite at getting to the line, earning 7 free-throw attempts per night and draining a personal best 88% of them. Although his time with the San Antonio Spurs could be coming to an end, DeRozan will not be short of offers in the summer.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Dejounte Murray l Shooting Guard - Derrick White l Small Forward - Keldon Johnson l Power Forward - DeMar DeRozan l Center - Jakob Poeltl
Heat vs Spurs Match Prediction
The result of this matchup could very well depend on which Miami Heat stars are available to play. At the time of writing, both Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler remain doubtful. However, it can be assumed that the young center will be back in the lineup.
Don't expect a high-scoring game. The San Antonio Spurs rank top in defensive rating over the last five games while the Miami Heat hold a top ten defense over the season.
After two impressive wins, we are giving the San Antonio Spurs a slight edge in this one.
Where to watch the Heat vs Spurs matchup
Fans in America can catch the game locally on Bally Sports Sun and Bally Sports Southwest - San Antonio. With an NBA League Pass, it will also be available to stream live.