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Warriors vs. Heat Preview: Back on track

Can Golden State crawl back to .500?

Miami Heat v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The last time the Golden State Warriors faced the Miami Heat, they emerged with a surprising and inspiring win, despite Draymond Green’s absence and a horrific shooting night from Steph Curry.

Can they repeat their success against a very bizarre Miami team? Only time — and this game — will tell.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat

When: 5:00 p.m. PT

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida

TV: NBC Sports Bay Area

The story

The Warriors are running out of time. They have just 25 games remaining, and find themselves fighting like hell to try and hold onto the 10th seed in the West, which is the final play-in spot.

But with Steph Curry returning on Monday, the Warriors once again looked like a decent NBA team. The Heat — while in the same boat as the Warriors, of trying to find wins they feel like they should already have — are a formidable challenger.

We’ve said it many times before and we’ll say it again: sooner or later, the Warriors need to find a way to win these types of games.

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Steph Curry.

Curry was far and away the Warriors best player during Monday’s victory over the Chicago Bulls, but he did look a bit rusty in his first game back after nearly a two-week absence.

He’ll surely want to show off against the Heat, after shooting just 5-for-20 from beyond the arc the last time the teams met.

Heat player to watch: Jimmy Butler.

Butler’s season has gone a bit under the radar because Miami has disappointed, and he was snubbed from the All-Star Game. But here’s his stat line on the year: 21.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.

That’s a monster.

Butler’s efficiency is strong, his defense is as good as ever, and the advanced metrics paint him as having one of the best years of his career — and one of the best seasons in the league.

Matchup to watch: James Wiseman vs. Bam Adebayo.

Wiseman has been up and down lately, and he’ll need to be up against one of the biggest tests for a center: Adebayo, a defensively elite, offensively strong, versatile big man.

Keys to victory

  • Have more energy after two rest days than the Heat, who are playing a back-to-back with traveling in between.
  • Hold Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro from dynamic offensive games.
  • Contain Bam Adebayo.
  • Steph Curry find a lot of threes.

Two in a row, Dubs.

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