After making some moves at the deadline, the Miami Heat should be the right NBA pick for Thursday’s game with the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State Warriors vs. Miami Heat
at AmericanAirlines Arena
The Miami Heat didn’t get Kyle Lowry. They didn’t get Lonzo Ball, Norman Powell, or even LaMarcus Aldridge. But the Heat (24-24 SU, 20-27-1 ATS) did make some judicious moves at the trade deadline, and they’ve beaten the NBA odds in back-to-back games heading into Thursday’s tilt with the Golden State Warriors. Maybe last year’s Eastern Conference champions can still make another deep run in this year’s postseason. It’s harder to tell what the short-term future is for the Warriors (23-24 SU, 22-25 ATS). The only moves they made at the deadline were to get under the cap, sending guard Brad Wanamaker to the Charlotte Hornets and injured forward Marquese Chriss to the San Antonio Spurs. Without any reinforcements, the Dubs will be in a dogfight just to make the play-in portion of the Western playoffs – and they’ll have a hard time beating the NBA lines this Thursday as 2-point road dogs at PointsBet.
Victor The Cleaner
At least Golden State will be fresh. The Heat are playing on zero days of rest after beating the Indiana Pacers 92-87 Wednesday night as 1.5-point road dogs; this will be their fifth game in seven days. However, there’s a good chance that Victor Oladipo (minus-0.5 BPM) will finally make his Miami debut on Thursday after coming over from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Kelly Olynyk (minus-0.9 BPM), Avery Bradley (minus-3.2 BPM), a 2022 first-round pick and other considerations. Oladipo has yet to play for the Heat because of a head cold. As you can see by those Box Plus/Minus numbers – provided for free by the good people at Basketball Reference – this should be a good move for Miami, even if Oladipo has yet to regain the All-Star form he showed two years ago in Indiana. Meanwhile, the Heat also have proven veteran Trevor Ariza (minus-0.5 BPM last year) in uniform, courtesy of an earlier deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as Nemanja Bjelica (minus-3.2 BPM), who came over from the Sacramento Kings on deadline day. Like Oladipo, Bjelica hopes to get back to where he was the past couple of years in Sacto; the change of scenery should serve him well. The Warriors were reportedly shopping around Kelly Oubre Jr. (minus-2.3 BPM) at the deadline, but finding no takers, they appear content to ride out the rest of the season with what they’ve got. That includes rookie center James Wiseman (minus-5.2 BPM), who has started the last four games for Golden State since coming off the COVID-19 list. Eric Paschall (minus-3.2 BPM) won’t be available because of a sore left wrist, which means there’s not a lot of support for Wiseman down low – a recipe for disaster against Bam Adebayo (plus-5.1 BPM) and the Miami frontcourt. The Heat are the right choice for your NBA picks at this price, so bet accordingly, and enjoy the game.
NBA Pick: Heat -2 (-110) at PointsBet