The Miami Heat face the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at 8 p.m. EST. This is a matchup between two teams that are closer in talent than their records show, and as fans, we are in for a really good game.
The Heat have been stumbling to a record of 11-12, but their most promising moment of the season came when they beat the Boston Celtics in overtime on Friday. Now they get to face Memphis with a three-day break. Jimmy Butler has really taken over the Heat since he got back, and they look to be the real deal. We will have to see if they can keep it up in Memphis.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have won four of their last five games, bringing them to a 14-9 record and look like they can contend for first place in the Western Conference. The man leading the charge is Ja Morant who has led the team in points in each of the last four games. The problem is, he and a few of their key players will be out in this game. Not to mention, this game is the second half of a back-to-back stretch where the Grizzlies are traveling from Detroit back to Memphis.
How Miami Can Win:
The Heat can win if Jimmy Butler can put up a similar performance like his last game. He is the key to the Heat on both sides of the ball, and they can make a run if he continues to dominate. Prior to their trip to Boston, the Heat were one of the worst offenses in the league in terms of scoring, averaging just 109.5 points per game, which ranks in the bottom five in the league. If Butler can elevate their scoring, as well as keep up with their defense, the Heat can make some noise in Memphis and beyond.
How Memphis Can Win:
For the Grizzlies, they will be missing a boatload of their players. Ja Morant is doubtful to go tonight and Desmond Bane along with Jaren Jackson Jr. were ruled out. It will be a tough climb for their bench to step up, but they are going to have to if they want to win this game. Memphis is 8-2 in their last 10 games and have no trouble scoring, being eighth in the league scoring 115.3 points per game.
Prediction: Miami Heat 108, Memphis Grizzlies 107
Despite the missing players on the Grizzlies end, I still expect this game to be close the whole way through and come down to the final seconds.