|-5.5 MIA (-120) @ Betvictor|
My 10* Weekly Wipeout is on the Mia Heat at 8:10 ET.
The Miami Heat shocked pretty much all with their run to the NBA Finals last season but the team's "encore performance" has been a struggle. Miami is 35-31 and tied with Boston for the 6th-best record in the East, although the Celtics own the No. 6 seed due to a tiebreaker. Time is running out (six games left) and both the Celtics and Heat want to avoid the 'Play-In" tournament plus both still have hopes of moving up, as they are both just ONE game back of the Hawks (No. 5 seed) and TWO back of the Knicks (No. 4 seed). Miami hosts the Timberwolves Friday night, who check in the 3rd-worst record in the NBA (20-46) and its second-worst road record (8-25).
Minnesota put together their longest winning streak of the season, a four-game run from April 24-29, before losing games to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies by four points each the last two times out. Rookie Anthony Edwards matched a career-high with 42 points on 17-of-22 shooting overall and 8 of 9 from three-point range in the loss to Memphis. He hasn't missed a game, averaging 18.9 & 4.7 on the season, including 23.1 points over his past 10 games. Missing games has been an issue for Minnesota's other three key players. Center Towns (24.8-10.7-4.6) has missed 22 games, and PG Russell (19.1 & 5.7 APG) has missed 30 games. Both are available now but the team's second-leading scorer (Beasley at 19.6 PPG), has been out with a hamstring since April 2.
Miami's dealing with some injury issues as well, as Victor Oladipo (right knee) has missed 15 consecutive games and shooting guard Tyler Herro (14.9-4.9-3.4) has missed SIX in a row. The current starting-five has looked good. Butler (21.3-7.0-7.2) and Ariza (9.3 & 4.6 in his 25 games with the Heat) start up front with center Adebayo (18.9-9.1-5.4). Nunn (14.3) and Robinson (13.1) are the starting guards, with veteran Dragic (13.1 & 4.5 APG) coming off the bench. The Heat just lost to Dallas (Tuesday), playing without Jimmy Butler due to flu-like symptoms unrelated to COVID-19. There is a good chance he'll play here plus Herro is listed as day-to-day. The Heat can't possibly NOT remember losing to the T-wolves back on April 16. Either way, lay the points with the Heat.
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