Both teams may end up in the play-in tournament even though they still have a top-6 seeding in their sights. That could result in a cagey affair with neither team wanting to drop a game this late in the campaign.
Fixture - San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time - Wednesday, April 28th; 8:00 PM ET (Thursday, April 29th; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue - American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL.
San Antonio Spurs Preview
Despite outlasting the Washington Wizards in an overtime thriller on Monday, the San Antonio Spurs came away with one less star, as Derrick White sustained an ankle injury. There is currently no timetable for White's return, which could prove damaging to the Spurs' run-in, as they have the toughest-remaining fixture schedule among all teams.
The 26-year-old is averaging over 15 points a game and will likely be replaced by San Antonio Spurs' Sixth Man, Patty Mills, who has also put up double-digit points.
Despite the setback, the San Antonio Spurs look on course to make the playoffs, as they are only one game behind the seventh seed.
A lot of their success has come on the road this campaign. So they could look at this game as one of their more 'winnable' remaining matchups as they seek to reach the postseason.
Key Player - DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan has been clutch all season for the San Antonio Spurs, thanks to his scoring reliability and improved playmaking.
In his 12th season, DeRozan has averaged a career-high 7.2 assists per game, eclipsing his previous best of 6.2. He has also scored his highest tally of free-throws at 88.7% and has had his best offensive rating (123) to date.
Although he could depart the San Antonio Spurs in the off-season, DeRozan could do a lot to boost his stock should he carry the team to the playoffs.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Patty Mills l Shooting Guard - Dejounte Murray l Small Forward - Keldon Johnson l Power Forward - DeMar DeRozan l Center - Jakob Poeltl.
Miami Heat Preview
Despite their continued struggles, the Miami Heat only sit a game behind the Boston Celtics, whom they would look to leapfrog to avoid the play-in tournament.
In Victor Oladipo's absence, Kendrick Nunn has risen to the fore, averaging 16 points per night in his last nine games. However, the Miami Heat still lack scoring depth in their roster, which they have had to make up for, as they have the fifth-stiffest defense in the league this season.
In their last eleven games, the Miami Heat have only been able to score more than 110 points in two matchups, which came against the lowly Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Key Player - Jimmy Butler
"We get there. I'll handle the rest." That was Miami Heat leader Jimmy Butler's recent comments when asked about his team's playoff hopes. The team's leader has abundant confidence in his own ability and why shouldn't he after his displays in the bubble last year?
Like DeRozan, Butler is his team's leader at both ends of the court and could be the one to pull the Miami Heat through the playoffs. In his last eight games, the forward has led his teammates in points per game with 21.4, assists with 7.6 and steals with an astonishing 2.8 per night.
Those are the sort of numbers fans have become accustomed to seeing from Butler, who will have to maintain this form if the Miami Heat are to have any hope against the East's big three.
Miami Heat Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Goran Dragic l Shooting Guard - Duncan Robinson l Small Forward - Trevor Ariza l Power Forward - Jimmy Butler l Center - Bam Adebayo.
Spurs vs Heat Match Prediction
This could be an extremely close matchup and will likely not be high-scoring, as two top-ten defenses will on the floor.
The San Antonio Spurs are the form team coming into the game and have been dominant on the road. However, when the two teams met last week, the Miami Heat took home a 107-87 blowout win.
Bam Adebayo was electric in that game and could be the deciding factor on Wednesday as he will look to dominate the San Antonio Spurs in the post. Although the game could go either way, the Heat are the marginal favorites.
Where to watch the San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat matchup?
In the USA, the game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Southwest and Bally Sports Sun. The game can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass live.