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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

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The Spurs take on the short-handed Heat for the second and final team this season as they look for their third win in a row.

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Date: 11/14/16, Time: 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Home-court advantage hasn't meant much for the Spurs early on, with their win against Detroit nudging them up to 2-3 at the AT&T Center for the year. It hasn't helped that 'home court' doesn't yet mean much to all the new guys settling into their new roles on a new team, nor have the injuries to the team's starting backcourt.

Things are starting to come together now though, with Tony Parker and Danny Green both in the fold. Green's biggest impact thus far has been on the defensive end, where he gives the team some much-needed help on the perimeter. We saw that in San Antonio's win at Houston, where Green came up with two timely blocks on three-point shots to help seal the victory. Parker, meanwhile, has been a steadying presence for an offense that hadn't come out the gates very strong in his absence.

Shorthanded Heat

Miami will be without starting point guard Goran Dragic, and that hurts. There aren't many creators on this team, and Dragic was one of the biggest reasons the Heat were able to go down to the wire versus the Spurs earlier in the year.

Without him, the Heat will run with Dion Waiters at the '1', sharing the starting backcourt with Josh Richardson, who missed the last meeting between these two teams. Both are capable of hitting from deep, so it'll be important for the Spurs to continue to work on their three-point defense. Speaking of which.

Three-point defense

Miami's best shot in this game is to get hot from deep, and they have the scheme for that to be something of a concern. The Heat will be running out a similar 1-in-4-out offense Houston's (albeit with less dangerous shooters), which will probably mean Aldridge or whoever's at power forward spending a bit more time on the perimeter.

The Spurs have been better than you might think at contesting three-point shots, though, and that should continue to improve as Green settles in and the new guys learn how and when to rotate. They can afford to give up a 30-point game to Hassan Whiteside, as long as it doesn't compromise their three-point defense. If they get back on transition and do a good enough job preventing the big guy from establishing position, Miami will struggle to put points on the board.

A balanced Spurs attack

In their win in Miami, Kawhi Leonard took a shot under the eye, got bandaged up, and then proceeded to put the team on his back to get the win, scoring 14 points in the final six minutes of the fourth.

That shouldn't have to happen tonight. The Spurs will benefit from having Aldridge (who rested against Miami the last time out) in there, and the offense should continue to look smoother with Tony running things.

This is a tough matchup for the Heat, who still have to head back to Miami to take on the Hawks tomorrow tonight. With that in mind, there's pretty decent blow-out potential if Erik Spoelstra decides to put Hassan Whiteside on ice and focus on beating Atlanta. But, you know, don't blame me if I'm wrong.

vs

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 7-3)

Miami Heat

(Record: 2-6)

November 14, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Dion Waiters

Danny Green

SG

Josh Richardson

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Justise Winslow

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Luke Babbitt

Pau Gasol

C

Hassan Whiteside


Vegas line: Spurs by 12.

Game prediction: Spurs by 14.

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.