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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

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The 3-0 Spurs head to South Beach on the second game of a back-to-back to face the Miami Heat.

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fl
Date: 10/30/16, Time: 5:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

It feels like June 2014 was ages ago when you look at today's Miami Heat. Only tenured power forward Udonis Haslem remains from that team that the Spurs battled in back-to-back Finals (I'm guessing we'll look over one day and he'll have a suit on and a clipboard in his hand), and both teams find themselves in something of a transition from what was---although things have worked out a lot better for San Antonio.

With LeBron long gone, a scorned Dwyane Wade having left for Chicago and Chris Bosh hoping to make an NBA comeback on another team's roster, the Heatles Era is completely over, having fizzled out almost as abruptly as it began. Now, head coach Erik Spoelstra is counting on Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, a handful of journeymen and some intriguing prospects that will have to take the next step for this team to be good.

The Heat may struggle to put up points

The Spurs come in averaging a league-best 115 points through their first three games. That number will go down, but they should remain one of the league's most efficient offenses throughout the year. There's enough shot creation and outside shooting up and down the roster for them to sustain a good attack for 48 minutes, something the Heat can't claim.

Miami has a potent pick-and-roll duo in Dragic and Whiteside, but not much beyond that. Athletic second-year wing Justise Winslow still lacks offensive polish, big man Willie Reed offers a high motor but little else, and Dion Waiters is still Dion Waiters, for better or worse. They re-signed Tyler Johnson to help out as a shooter and ball-handler, but he's not quite got the Dragon's instincts or much to work with in the second unit. Ultimately, they'll rely on their defense to pull out wins, at least until another reliable contributor emerges.

Pau getting more comfortable?

Gasol had a quiet but solid line last night, with 9 points, 8 boards and 5 assists in just 22 minutes. He knocked down his only three-point attempt and seemed to have a better feel for when to shoot and where to be on the floor.

The Heat have decided to roll with Luke Babbitt as their starting power forward, which gets them shooting but puts more pressure on Whiteside to do everything for them around the basket. The spacing should theoretically allow the Heat to attack Gasol in the pick and roll while Aldridge shadows Babbitt. If San Antonio can cope with that defensively, though, they should be able to feast on the other end, pulling Whiteside out and getting to the rim with relative ease.

Some rest heading into the SEGABABA

Pop pulled out his first DNP-Rests of the season last night, giving Tony and Manu the night off. There's been no news as of now of anyone sitting tonight, but the starters should be pretty well-rested, having put the Pelicans game to bed in the third quarter (no one played more than 28 minutes). Just for fun, here's a look at Manu having a good time on his night off.

The Heat aren't great, but they have a pretty stout defense that gives them a chance as long as they can get some solid contributions from guys like Dion Waiters, Rodney McGruder, and James Johnson. The problem is, well, most of what I just said. I think the Spurs gut out a win and begin the SEGABABA season 1-0.

vs

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 3-0)

Miami Heat

(Record: 1-1)

October 30, 2016

American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fl

5:00 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Goran Dragic

Kyle Anderson

SG

Dion Waiters

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Justise Winslow

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Luke Babbitt

Pau Gasol

C

Hassan Whiteside

Vegas line: Spurs by 7.

Game prediction: Spurs by 10.

For the Heat fans' perspective, visit Hot Hot Hoops.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.

As always, PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. But if you're not able to log in here, you can try the Fanvana app which helps connect sports fans and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Check out the free app on iOS or Android to discover other Spurs fans and join the live chatter for tonight's game. You can follow PtR's tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds.