|Last 5 Games||4-1||-0.7||3-2||3-2||105.0||51.8||52.2%||42.4||90.0||47.4||42.0%||52.6|
|Team Stats (All Games)||103.5||51.7||39-78||49.7%||8-21||39.3%||18-23||75.8%||46||8||23||19||9||13||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98||49.3||37-82||45.3%||7-20||35.9%||17-22||75.2%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||99.9||49.9||38-78||48.5%||8-22||37.9%||16-22||73.0%||47||9||23||19||9||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||95.5||48.9||36-81||44.1%||8-22||35.0%||16-21||77.4%||49||11||20||21||8||15||3|
|vs opponents averaging||97.4||49||37-82||44.9%||7-20||35.7%||17-22||75.1%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Road Games)||94.9||48.3||35-81||43.7%||8-21||35.8%||17-21||77.6%||50||12||22||20||8||15||4|
|Last 5 Games||4-1||+2.8||1-4||2-3||101.4||51.2||47.1%||46.6||97.4||49.4||45.0%||50.4|
|Team Stats (All Games)||104.2||51.7||39-81||48.7%||8-22||38.3%||17-21||79.3%||48||8||25||17||9||14||5|
|vs opponents surrendering||98.4||49.4||37-82||45.3%||7-20||36.0%||17-22||75.4%||50||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||105.6||54.2||41-81||50.3%||8-21||39.4%||16-20||79.4%||48||8||27||17||9||14||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)||96.5||47.7||38-85||44.2%||6-18||34.2%||15-20||76.1%||50||11||21||19||8||14||5|
|vs opponents averaging||98.3||49.5||37-82||45.2%||7-20||35.8%||17-23||75.4%||51||11||22||20||8||14||5|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||94.2||47.9||37-84||44.1%||6-17||34.4%||14-19||74.5%||48||11||21||20||8||15||4|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MIAMI 94.9, SAN ANTONIO 95.3|
|3/3/2013||@ NEW YORK||99-93||W||-4.5||W||196||U||39-84||46.4%||52||14||32-74||43.2%||46||17|
|3/29/2013||@ NEW ORLEANS||108-89||W||-7.5||W||188.5||O||42-69||60.9%||32||13||34-74||45.9%||43||19|
|3/31/2013||@ SAN ANTONIO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/2/2013||NEW YORK|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/5/2013||@ CHARLOTTE|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/6/2013||PHILADELPHIA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/9/2013||MILWAUKEE|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/10/2013||@ WASHINGTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/12/2013||BOSTON|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/14/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/15/2013||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|2/21/2013||@ LA CLIPPERS||116-90||W||4.5||W||201||O||43-73||58.9%||45||17||32-76||42.1%||39||18|
|2/22/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE||101-107||L||-3.5||L||208.5||U||37-95||38.9%||63||9||39-94||41.5%||65||12|
|3/31/2013||MIAMI|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/1/2013||@ MEMPHIS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/3/2013||ORLANDO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/4/2013||@ OKLAHOMA CITY|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/6/2013||ATLANTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/10/2013||@ DENVER|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/12/2013||SACRAMENTO|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/14/2013||@ LA LAKERS|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|4/15/2013||@ GOLDEN STATE|| || || || || || || || || || || || || || |
|MIAMI: GUARDS: The regular season goal for DWYANE WADE is to just stay healthy. Even following knee surgery, he's still good enough to pile up numbers, but the minutes won't be there in the regular season . . . That's why the Heat brought in RAY ALLEN. He and Wade will share the floor at times, but Allen should primarily play off the bench. His role will be to knock down the wide-open threes Wade and LeBron James create . . . After all the big plays he made in the postseason, MARIO CHALMERS is entrenched as the starting point guard, despite being plagued by a bad hammy in the preseason . . . Super-quick NORRIS COLE looks like he'll become one of the NBA's better backup point guards . . . If he doesn't retire, the absurdly brittle MIKE MILLER will see limited regular-season minutes . . . TERREL HARRIS will likely make the team because he's willing to play defense. FORWARDS: While another title is their No. 1 priority, LeBRON JAMES has shown no need to rest during the regular season. He'll play full-time minutes and be in the thick of the MVP race . . . CHRIS BOSH remains integral to the offense with his ability to pull opposing bigs away from the basket. His stats don't reflect his actual value . . . SHANE BATTIER will continue to be a defensive specialist whose offensive role is limited to shooting open threes . . . UDONIS HASLEM is another guy who will get held back in the regular season. He should lead their low-post rotation . . . RASHARD LEWIS' knee problems have robbed him of athleticism . . . But Lewis should beat out fellow shooter JAMES JONES for a rotation spot . . . JARVIS VARNADO is a shot-blocking force with little to no offensive game. CENTERS: JOEL ANTHONY will continue to tag-team with Haslem in the middle. Anthony is an absolute negative on the offensive end, but he brings more size and shot-blocking than Haslem . . . DEXTER PITTMAN will be battling for a roster spot. Sexy Dexy has shown no signs of being an NBA-caliber player so far in his career . . . MICKELL GLADNESS is a better alternative than Pittman on both ends of the floor.|
|SAN ANTONIO: GUARDS: TONY PARKER played at an MVP level last year. His eye injury is obviously not an issue, and he was constantly getting on coach Gregg Popovich to let him finish meaningless games last year. There's no reason he can't repeat last year's performance . . . MANU GINOBILI dealt with a series of nagging injuries last year, and it's clear the team will have to monitor his regular-season workload . . . GARY NEAL provides solid minutes in this rotation, mostly at the point, and is able to consistently knock down threes . . . DANNY GREEN's rotation spot is in a bit of peril. He was too much of an offensive liability in last year's Western Conference Finals . . . NANDO de COLO is a combo guard who can provide instant offense off the bench. He can shoot it and does a nice job getting to the line . . . PATTY MILLS steps in as another viable option in this loaded backcourt . . . CORY JOSEPH's roster spot is in jeopardy after a middling D-League season. FORWARDS: TIM DUNCAN will continue to save it up for the playoffs. He still has plenty left in the tank, but he'll get tons of rest in March and April and more and more often defers to Tony Parker on offense when he does play . . . There's plenty to like about KAWHI LEONARD, who proved to be useful on both ends of the court last season. He'll be asked to be a little more aggressive offensively this year and should even have a couple of sets designed for him . . . STEPHEN JACKSON was a bit of a disaster in Milwaukee before landing with the Spurs last year. He's another veteran who will be paced during the regular season. And while he's been a facilitator in the past, he's really just a catch-and-shoot guy in San Antonio . . . MATT BONNER will continue to come off the bench and hoist some threes. CENTERS: BORIS DIAW's pick-and-pop ability makes him Popovich's top choice in the center rotation . . . TIAGO SPLITTER looks to be a career second-unit guy. He works hard and can defend, but he's just too clunky on the offensive end . . . DeJUAN BLAIR can pick up some cheap baskets, but his lack of offensive skills and defensive size makes him a fringe rotation player.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO BASKETBALL PREVIEW (MIAMI-SAN ANTONIO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with Ginobili out. With AP Photos.)
*Heat-Spurs Preview* ====================
By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer
Miami (57-15) at San Antonio (55-17), 7:00 p.m. EDT
By the time the Miami Heat get on their plane to come home late Sunday night, they could have a stranglehold on the race to finish with the NBA's best record.
All they have to do is win at San Antonio. That, of course, is no easy task.
The Heat (57-15) take a two-game lead in the NBA standings over the Spurs (55-17) into their matchup on Sunday. A win would essentially provide Miami a four-game cushion with nine remaining, given that the Heat also would control any potential head-to-head tiebreaker with San Antonio.
If the Heat lose, the race for home-court advantage throughout the entirety of the playoffs could turn into a frantic, down-to-the-wire deal.
"It's always good to play the best, to the best," LeBron James said. "It'll be an opportunity for us. We just want to get better, man. The game Sunday doesn't define our season or how we go from there. We just want to continue to move forward and get better throughout the rest of the season."
Miami has won 28 of its last 29 games overall, getting back on the winning track at New Orleans on Friday, two days after Chicago snapped a 27-game Heat winning streak. But San Antonio has won 28 of its last 30 games at home, and facing the Spurs on the road is traditionally a painful expedition for many members of the Heat - as it tends to be for everyone else in the NBA.
Dwyane Wade is 1-4 at San Antonio, sitting out three other Heat losses there during his career. Chris Bosh is 1-7. James is 3-7. Shane Battier - a longtime player in the Western Conference - has enjoyed eight wins from the visitors' side when facing the Spurs, and also been on the losing end 16 times there.
"It's obviously a very, very, very good team," Wade said. "Very tough place to play, so I think our mentality and how we approach the game is going to be important. You just try to go out there and compete, as we do every night, try to get a great road win. It's not going to be easy but that's kind of what we enjoy."
The only other meeting between the clubs this season was Nov. 29 in Miami, a strange game in that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich - citing a desire to rest his best players at the end of a long road trip - sent Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green home before the game.
With guys like Patty Mills, Nando De Colo and Matt Bonner filling out the starting lineup - they've combined to make four other starts this season - the Spurs almost beat the Heat anyway, leading by five with 2:13 left before getting outscored 12-2 in a wild Miami finish that gave the Heat a 105-100 win.
Ginobili played just under three minutes in Friday night's win over the Los Angeles Clippers because of a strained right hamstring, and Popovich glumly said afterward he didn't expect him to be ready to face the Heat.
And on Saturday the Spurs made it official: Ginobili is out for the game, with no return date set.
The Spurs have won six of their last seven games. Of those six wins, only one came by double figures, an 11-point victory over Golden State. The average margin of the other five wins in that span, over Dallas, Cleveland, Utah, Denver and Clippers was 3.4 points, and the only loss was a one-pointer at Houston.
"It's great challenges, good preparation for us for the playoffs," Parker said. "Denver is a great team, Clippers a great team and now we've got Miami. They're the best in the league. They went on the unbelievable run and it's going to be another great game."
This game could have been one of the most-watched among regular-season games in years if Miami had not lost in Chicago on Wednesday. Had the Heat won there and won in New Orleans, as they did on Friday, they would have been going for their 30th straight win on this trip to San Antonio in what will be touted either way as a potential NBA Finals preview.
"I just want you to know the Heat are going to be just fine," said President Barack Obama, a noted Bulls fan during a stop in Miami on Friday. "They're going to be OK. They are playing basketball the right way."
The Heat streak is gone, but standings-wise, it's still a big deal.
"Very good team, obviously the defending champs," Duncan said. "I think they won 62 in a row or something like that. It'll be a great game. I know our crowd will be excited and we'll be excited to continue our homestand."
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has said everyone on his roster should be considered day-to-day for the remainder of the regular season. This is when teams like to ensure that players get some rest wherever they can.
And the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference is already clinched, meaning all that's really left on the Heat to-do list before the opening round of the playoffs is finish atop the NBA's regular-season standings.
"The mindset will be, first and foremost, playing our game and making sure that we establish our identity," Spoelstra said. "That's the whole thing with us. When we do that and play the way we're capable, results take care of themselves.
"We don't want to get caught up in too much of the results. We have a big goal in mind. That's the No. 1 goal and that's the only goal we've talked about."
|Last Updated: 12/22/2014 12:12:02 AM EST|