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Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs Prediction & Match Preview - December 29th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22

The visiting Miami Heat will face the San Antonio Spurs for the first time this season on Wednesday. [Photo: All U Can Heat]
The visiting Miami Heat will face the San Antonio Spurs for the first time this season on Wednesday. [Photo: All U Can Heat]
Michael Macasero
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The Miami Heat are heading out west for the second night of a back-to-back game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center on Wednesday.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra’s team is on a four-game winning run despite injuries and COVID protocols. They topped the Washington Wizards in their last game to grab fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Miami Heat have pulled off some unexpected wins this season but will face the San Antonio Spurs as the overwhelming favorites.

The San Antonio Spurs are just one of a handful of NBA teams that haven’t had a full-on coronavirus outbreak. However, their best player this season, Dejounte Murrary, is currently under the league's health and safety protocols.

No quit in this team.It's still #GoSpursGo until the very end 💯 https://t.co/gsoDYWD79v

Gregg Popovich's team gave the mighty Utah Jazz everything they could handle before losing a closely fought contest. Without Murray in the lineup, the young San Antonio Spurs have relied on Derrick White and Keldon Johnson. But expect no slack in intensity or effort as the Spurs try to beat the favored Miami Heat.


Match Details

Fixture: Miami Heat vs San Antonio Spurs | 2021-22 NBA season

Date & Time: Wednesday, December 29th; 8:30 PM (Thursday, December 30th; 7:00 AM IST)

Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX


Miami Heat Preview

The Miami Heat have been finding ways to win despite injuries and virus protocols. [Photo: All U Can Heat]
The Miami Heat have been finding ways to win despite injuries and virus protocols. [Photo: All U Can Heat]

The Miami Heat supposedly had one of the shallowest rosters in the NBA heading into the season. Not only have they proved the doubters wrong in terms of depth, they have shown that they possess considerable quality in their ranks as well. The threat of injuries and virus protocols could have wrecked the team's front-heavy lineup, but Miami’s young bench has only thrived amid the adversity.

Jimmy Butler’s return will ease the absence of Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker. They have improbably gone on to win games behind the outstanding performances of Caleb Martin, Omer Yurtseven and Gabe Vincent.

Alongside the ever-reliable likes of Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, both of whom have remained relatively healthy this season. The Heat have proved that they are still capable of winning games.

Key Player - Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler is one of those special players who can lift the ceiling as well as the floor of a team. Even without Lowry, Tucker and Adebayo, the Miami Heat have not looked overwhelmed at all. In fact, they’ve continue to roll with the best teams in the league.

The 5x All-Star knows that the defense will undoubtedly focus on him with several key Miami Heat players sidelined. Jimmy Butler responded to the Washington Wizards’ opportunistic defense with a career-high 15 assists.

Jimmy Butler filled the box score tonight.25 PTS8 REB15 AST (career-high)2 STL2 BLK https://t.co/Xjpee38Hcj

The short-handed Miami Heat will need the best version of Jimmy Butler against the always competitive and well-coached San Antonio Spurs.


Miami Heat Predicted Lineup

G - Gabe Vincent | G - Duncan Robinson | F - Caleb Martin | F - Jimmy Butler | C - Omer Yurtseven


San Antonio Spurs Preview

The San Antonio Spurs will lean on Derrick White in the absence of Dejounte Murray. [Photo: All U Can Heat]
The San Antonio Spurs will lean on Derrick White in the absence of Dejounte Murray. [Photo: All U Can Heat]

The San Antonio Spurs have looked like a well-oiled machine in the last few weeks. They have had some big wins against the best teams in the league behind a suddenly prolific offense. In the last 10 games, the Spurs have managed an offensive rating of 119.8, which is surprisingly better than the Jazz’s mind-boggling rating of 116.6.

As the young San Antonio Spurs have become more comfortable with each other, they are also showing vast improvements. The players are now more accustomed to their roles, which has helped them become the league leader in assists per contest with 28.5.

"Overall, a good game for improvement. Understanding how we have to play, and what this is all about. I'm actually pleased."@spurs coach Gregg Popovich talks about his team's effort in their loss to the Jazz. #PorVida https://t.co/zhKePSttlV

Considering that they don’t have an alpha All-Star, what the San Antonio Spurs are doing is simply remarkable. Unfortunately, they’ll face the Miami Heat without their best player and defensive ace Dejounte Murray, which will see them turn to Derrick White in his stead.

Key Player - Derrick White

Derrick White finding his form is a big reason for the San Antonio Spurs’ resurgence. The player who started the first 13 games of the season looks very different from the player who now runs the show for Gregg Popovich's team. White is averaging 14.3 points with career-best numbers in assists (5.3 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG).

The most obvious difference in Derrick White’s game is his aggression on offense. He struggled horribly in the first two months, regularly passing on open shots. In the last few weeks, however, he has been playing without fear, hunting those same shots for the San Antonio Spurs.

The duo of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White are quietly wreaking havoc on the NBA. Without Murray, it would be up to the 27-year old shooting guard/point guard to try and pull off another upset.


San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup

G - Derrick White | G - Lonnie Walker | F - Doug McDermott | F - Keldon Johnson | C - Jakob Poeltl


Heat vs Spurs Match Prediction

Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and the emerging young talent of the Miami Heat could be too much for the San Antonio Spurs without Dejounte Murray.

If the Miami Heat can bring the same energy and hustle despite playing back-to-back games, they should extend their winning streak to five games.


Where to watch the Heat vs Spurs game

The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage is available via Bally Sports Sun in Florida and KENS in San Antonio.


Edited by David Nyland
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