Two of the top teams in the league square off on Friday night when the LA Clippers visit the Miami Heat.
This matchup is going to be incredible as it features two scorching hot teams. The Clippers were in the news Thursday as there was a reported blowup within the organization because of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard getting preferential treatment over the rest of the team. Those rumors were put to bed by Patrick Beverley, who tweeted that it was “fake, fake, FAKE news,” so we’ll see exactly if those claims had any merit.
The Clippers have been playing their best ball of the year and hope to stay hot and move into the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.
Miami, on the other hand, has also been incredible this year and sits in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference. Coming in to the year, the Heat were pegged as a lower playoff seed, but after 45 games, they rank behind only the Bucks, showing off how strong they have been.
James Johnson has emerged as a clutch performer over the last few games after being in the doghouse for much of the year. With all of the time Justise Winslow has missed, it’s nice for yet another player to emerge.
The Clippers are 2.5-point favorites in Miami Friday night. The moneyline has the Clippers -138 and the Heat +118.
Hoping To Quiet The Critics
A great chance to squash the rumors Friday night would be for Montrezl Harrell to have a big night to help the Clippers to another victory. The only problem there is the size and athleticism of Bam Adebayo in the middle. But when you’re scoring 19 per game, you never come into a matchup believing that you can get the better of your opponent.
Harrell and Leonard will be looking to lift the team to another win along with Lou Williams, as George misses yet another game with his hamstring injury. The Clippers have won games short-handed all year, so Friday should be no different.
Leonard has been on a tear of late and has hardly had to exert himself along the way. He’s making all of his jumpers, getting to his spots, and moving the ball well. He’s always a star on the defensive end.
The injury report is looking a little scary for the Heat ahead of the game, as their top three scoring options may all be out. Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn are all listed as day-to-day and questionable for this one. There is a chance they could all play, which Miami surely needs.
Nunn has been playing fantastic all season and is looking like the clear-cut No. 2 rookie this season. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson have continued to play great basketball, shooting better than 40 percent from three this year.
Adebayo has been having a fantastic year, and he’ll be looking to lift the team to another win. Dragic has been the sixth man all year and thrived in that role, so his presence for this one is vital.
Clippers Win A Close One
It will be a good win for the Clippers Friday as they continue to try to move into the top two in the West. Take the Clippers -2.5.
Free Play: LAC -2.5
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