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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat

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The Rodeo Road trip begins in Miami this year. Might Tim Duncan make his return to action against the Heat?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat

American Airlines Arena Miami, FL.
February 9, 2016, 7 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW Radio: WOAI 1200AM

A game against the Miami Heat doesn't mean what it used to for the San Antonio Spurs. It's not quite the "Finals Preview" that it was before LeBron took his talents away from South Beach, but the Heat haven't exactly collapsed in Mr. James' absence.

Miami currently holds the fourth seed in the East, and they sit atop the Southeast Division, just percentage points ahead of the Atlanta Hawks. Although they've been playing win-one-lose-one, and win-four-lose-four for the past month, the Heat are 6 games over .500 on the season even though their point differential is an underwhelming 0.0.

Dwayne Wade has been both durable and productive this season, playing in all but three games so far and averaging almost 19-5-4. Chris Bosh is their best player, bringing 19 and 7 every night along with his versatile defense. Goran Dragic isn't scoring like he has been for the past three seasons, he's taking fewer shots and making a lower percentage too.

But the Heat's biggest issue has been how to manage, tame, and make the most of Hassan Whiteside's considerable talents. Early in the season, much was written about how Miami's defense was better when the 7-footer shot-blocking phenom was on the bench. But Eric Spoelstra may have figured some of that out, as Whiteside is now a part of a couple of the Heat's best performing five-man units. So expect to see him share the floor with Wade, Dragic, Bosh or Luol Deng, and Gerald Green or Justise Winslow -- even if Whiteside doesn't start.

Alas, all of this is much ado about nothing if Tim Duncan returns. Now, nothing has been released officially, but the Spurs listed him as questionable in their latest injury report, and that's the best news regarding his status since his sore knee has been holding him out of games. If he plays, expect the Spurs to romp. (UPDATE: Duncan will not play.) If he doesn't dress, then San Antonio should still take it, something in the high-single digits seems right. Let's call it 9.

San Antonio Spurs: 43-8

Miami Heat: 29-23

February 9, 2016

American Airlines Arena Miami, FL.

7:00 pm, CDT

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Goran Dragic

Danny Green

SG

Dwyane Wade

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Luol Deng

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Chris Bosh

David West

C

Amar'e Stoudemire


Game prediction: Spurs by 9

For the Heat Perspective, visit Hot Hot Hoops.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.