The Miami Heat travel to the Capital One Arena to take on the Washington Wizards in their eighth game of the 2020-21 NBA season. The Miami Heat have had a slow start to the campaign, winning only 3 of their 7 games so far. However, they are coming up against a team that have had an even worse start to the season. The Washington Wizards have only won 2 out of their 9 games , and are in desperate need of a victory.
The Miami Heat suffered a close 105-107 loss against the Boston Celtics in their last game as Jayson Tatum stole the show with 27 points. The Heat have seen some good individual performances but have struggled overall, while Russell Westbrook looks in decent form but has not managed to lead his team to victories.
The Washington Wizards come into the game having lost to title contenders Boston Celtics as well, in another game in which Jayson Tatum stole the headlines. Bradley Beal scored 41 points for the Wizards but could not lead his team over the line.
The Washington Wizards have looked weak defensively but are going up against a team that have struggled offensively. This match is expected to be close although the Miami Heat go in as favorites to get their 4th win of the 2020-21 NBA season.
Fixture: Miami Heat vs Washington Wizards - NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Saturday, January 9th, 2021 7:00 PM ET. (Sunday 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC.
Miami Heat Preview
The Miami Heat will be looking to Jimmy Butler to lead them to victory although he has not found his scoring touch in the early weeks of this season. Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic will be expected to support Jimmy Butler offensively as they look to go to move past their close loss to the Celtics.
As far as injuries are concerned, the Miami Heat look strong and have only Gabe Vincent who is struggling with a knee injury, on the probable list. He is expected to feature as the Miami Heat come into the game with an extra day of rest.
Key Player - Jimmy Butler
In the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Jimmy Butler went on an unexpected run that ended at the hands of the LA Lakers in the Championship finals. Butler was instrumental in the Heat's Finals run as he chipped in with 22.2 points and 6 assists per game during the playoffs.
This season, Butler has averaged 13.8 points and 4.6 assists and will be looking to come up with better performances, starting with the Miami Heat’s trip to Washington. Goran Dragic has been chipping in with crucial contributions from the bench and Bam Adebayo has also looked in decent scoring touch.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineup
G Duncan Robinson, G Tyler Herro, F Jimmy Butler, F Kelly Olynyk
C Bam Adebayo
Washington Wizards Preview
Despite some impressive individual performances from Russell Westbrook, the Washington Wizards have looked out of sorts.
Westbrook has featured prominently and was involved in the Washington Wizards’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The former MVP sat out of the Wizards’ first victory of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves and will be disappointed with the inefficient start that he has had.
For the Washington Wizards, their defensive woes are the first area they need to address. Overall, the Wizards need to be more aggressive and have given away too many easy buckets during the start of the NBA season.
Key Player - Bradley Beal
Despite the presence of former MVP Russell Westbrook, it is Bradley Beal who has carried the Washington Wizards offensively. He is currently averaging 35 points and 5 assists per game. Beal’s best points return came last season when he averaged 30.5 points throughout the year.
While the Washington Wizards’ have been poor in defense, they also seem to rely a bit too much on Bradley Beal, who has not disappointed so far.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G Russell Westbrook, G Bradley Beal, F Deni Avdija, F Davis Bertans, C Thomas Bryant
Heat vs Wizards Match Prediction
Both teams need to improve different aspects of their game and are coming into the fixture with almost full-strength rosters.
The Washington Wizards have looked weak defensively and the Miami Heat will go into this NBA game as the slight favorites. However, the Washington Wizards also have enough firepower to make it an interesting matchup.