San Antonio (43-8) at Miami (29-23)
When: Tuesday, February 9th 2016
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
The San Antonio Spurs take to the road for eight consecutive games beginning tonight in Miami against the Heat. The annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo will keep the Spurs away from home until March 2nd. San Antonio is 28-0 at home, but does own the second-best road record in the league at 15-8. The Spurs won their 18th of 20 games last time out when they held off the lowly Los Angeles Lakers 106-102 on Saturday. The Lakers took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter, but the Spurs outscored L.A. 27-21 in the deciding period. San Antonio had five players scored in double-figures including reserve Patty Mills (8.2 points) off the bench. Mills scored 13 points to go along with 4 assists, but the night could have been much better as he shot just 5-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Kawhi Leonard was a beast on the boards pulling down 13 after compiling 12 total rebounds in his previous three games. Veteran Tim Duncan has missed the last seven games with a knee injury and head coach Gregg Popovich is deciding whether or not to keep him out until after this weekend’s All-Star Break. The Spurs will close out the first half on Wednesday in Orlando.
The Heat know about playing away from home lately as 14 of their last 17 games have been away from American Airlines Arena. The were 2-7 in the first nine of those games, but have come back to win six of their last eight. Their coming off a home loss on Sunday to the L.A. Clippers 100-93 and have not scored more than 100 points in three straight games. Center Hassan Whiteside is back after missing several games with an oblique injury and has 30 points, 29 rebounds, and 15 blocks in his last three games – all off the bench. Whiteside did tweak his ankle is Sunday’s game, but is expected to play against the Spurs. Luol Deng (10.6 points) has been providing Miami with a little spark scoring 15 or more points in five of his last six games. The Heat lost their grip on the Southeast Division lead to Atlanta as the two go back-and-forth with the Hawks leading by just a half a game. Miami has lost five straight against San Antonio including the last three of the 2014 NBA Finals. The Heat have also failed to cover the spread in all five of those.
With a healthy roster including Whiteside, I think Miami can at least hang with the Spurs in this one. The Spurs have failed to cover the spread in three of their last four road games. I’ll take the home dog.
Pick: Heat +6.5