NBA Game Preview: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat

Mar 6, 2023

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Game: Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Hawks +3, Heat -3

Total: 227.5

Until six games ago, Miami’s Cody Zeller had not played in an NBA game this season. The 6-foot-11-inch, 240-pound center has been lost in the NBA shadows for most of his career. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, but Zeller hasn’t started a game since the 2020-21 season. Zeller was waived twice this season, by Utah and Portland, but has found a home in Miami.

Claimed and signed by the Heat, Zeller scored a season-best 13 points in just 12 minutes of action on Saturday. His efforts helped Miami beat Atlanta 117-109. The Heat will host the Hawks tonight at Miami-Dade Arena. Zeller will continue to come off the bench and provide Miami with key minutes in a backup role.

The Heat bench now consists of Zeller, Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo, and Max Strus. It’s a strong bench full of players that can explode at any time. All of them support the Heat’s Big Three of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro.

Adebayo scored a game-high 30 points on Saturday against Atlanta. He also provided five assists and 11 rebounds. Herro scored 20 points on Saturday as well, and Butler contributed 15 points, 11 rebounds, and a team-high seven assists. After being acquired by Miami, new Heat power forward Kevin Love has appeared in six games and has performed admirably. He has only reached double digits in scoring once for Miami, though.

The win for Miami gives the Heat a 2-1 record against Atlanta this season. Miami has won seven of the last ten against the Hawks and six straight at home against Atlanta. The Hawks, meanwhile, have scored 100 or more points in 39 straight games. Atlanta has had a hard time being consistent.

Dejounte Murray, for instance, scored a career-high 41 points against Portland on Friday while shooting 17-of-22 from the field. Then on Saturday, he was limited to 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting against Miami. He hit all five of his three-point attempts against Portland, while all five of his attempts against Miami were unsuccessful.

Trae Young has also been consistently inconsistent. Against Miami on Saturday, he was limited to a season-low eight points on 2-for-13 shooting. That is way below his 26.7 season-scoring average. In his previous 15 games against the Heat, Young averaged 22.1 points and 8.3 assists.

On the plus side, Saddiq Bey scored 22 points for the Hawks on Saturday. That was Bey’s top-scoring output for the Hawks since they acquired him on February 9. Atlanta is now 2-2 under new head coach Quin Snyder. Atlanta is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games. The Hawks are 1-4 SU in their last five against Miami and 1-4 SU in their last five games on the road.

Miami is just 2-6 SU in its last eight games and has been awful lately against the number. In their last 13 games, Miami is just 3-10 ATS. The Under has hit in eight of the last nine games in this series.

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