Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat (21-21), travel to the Little Caesars Arena to take on Blake Griffin and the Detroit Pistons (19-24) for a 7:00 pm tip on Friday, January 18. The previous matchup between these two teams was a 120-115 overtime victory for the Heat. On November 5, Miami outlasted Detroit led by Josh Richardson’s twenty-seven points for the Heat and twenty-five points and twenty-four boards for the Pistons’ Andre Drummond. Langston Galloway and Dwyane Wade each were sparks off the bench with the pair of shooting guards providing twenty-one and eighteen points for each of their respective teams. Other standouts were Detroit’s Griffin and Jackson who both scored twenty-plus and Heat point guard Dragic scoring twenty-one.
The Miami Heat are one of the teams that are stuck in between the East’s playoff locks, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Boston, Indiana, Toronto, and those that are tanking. In the new year, the Heat are boasting a 4-3 record, one that fits with their .500 campaign. They are coming off a 124-86 pounding at the hands the red-hot Bucks. Scoring only 86 points in 2019 speaks to how horrible of an offensive performance the Heat put up.
The Pistons bounced back after an underwhelming Jazz loss with a 120-115 overtime win vs. the Orlando Magic. The Pistons shot the ball well from deep going 12-30 (40%). Blake Griffin scored thirty points topped off by some clutch baskets down the stretch. Detroit’s bench shooters, Luke Kennard and Langston Galloway scored fourteen and thirteen points respectively. Andre Drummond scored fourteen points and got twenty-two rebounds, but really had a poor game with a team-high three turnovers and getting dominated by Nikola Vucevic who tied for a team high twenty-four points.
The Pistons are favored to beat the Heat only by two points and the over under is a low 207.5 points. Whichever team can catch fire from three should be able to win the game. The Heat are another team similar to the Clippers where they don’t have a true-superstar. They have plenty of good role players so expect them to dominate bench scoring. The Pistons key to victory is to make threes more efficiently and to outscore or limit the scoring of the Heat bench. I predict a 115-104 Heat victory due to the superior Heat bench.Last time the teams played Drummond had a huge game so watch the center match-up as at least one should have a big game. Miami’s starting five should look like Dragic, Richardson, Winslow, Johnson, Whiteside and Detroit’s as Jackson, Brown, Bullock, Griffin, Drummond.