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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

Can the Spurs defense get back on track against the Heat?

NBA: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs coming off a loss at home to Orlando, head to Miami on Wednesday night looking for their fifth win in the last six games. After a strong showing during their winning streak, can the defense regain its footing against a quietly explosive offense in Miami?

November 7th, 2018 | 6:30 CT

Watch: FSSW | Listen: WOAI

Spurs (6-3) vs. Heat (4-5)

The Spurs have won four out of their last five games, but entering Wednesday night’s road tilt against the Miami Heat, the Spurs continue their search for defensive cohesion. After the latest debacle, a 117-110 at the hands of the Orlando Magic on Sunday night, the Spurs have now allowed over 100 points in seven out of their nine games this season. In addition, the usually-stout San Antonio defense sank to 17th in the league in defensive rating, which is far from the norm for a Gregg Popovich-coached team.

The Heat enter Wednesday night’s tilt with a 4-5 record early in this 2018-19 season, but have played solid offensive basketball in the early going. At 21.4 points per game, Josh Richardson leads the balanced offensive roster in scoring this season. In total, the Heat have five players averaging in double-figures, including a spry Dwyane Wade who’s enjoying a strong start to his final NBA season.

Wade is averaging 14.3 points per game on 45% shooting from the field, including a 41% mark from beyond the arc. The Heat have 10 players on the roster scoring seven points or more per contest, leading to an efficient offense regardless of who is on the court. Needless to say, the Spurs’ defense will be tested once again, as they look to hold the Heat offense at bay on Wednesday.

Offensively, the Spurs continue to be carried by All-Star DeMar DeRozan, coming off a 25-point performance in a losing effort on Sunday against the Magic. While DeRozan has been phenomenal in his inaugural season in San Antonio, the Spurs will be looking elsewhere on the roster for offensive consistency. Outside of Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills, the offense for the Spurs has curbed once the starters go to the bench. Pau Gasol, Davis Bertans, and when he’s not starting, Dante Cunningham, need to fill more of the offensive void when the starters leave the game. The inconsistency in bench scoring is the one glaring deficiency for an otherwise solid Spurs offense to date. The bench will look to supplement the starters in a more substantial way when they take the floor on Wednesday.

Injury note: On Tuesday the Spurs announced that Gasol (right foot soreness) and Gay (right heel soreness) would both be out. They did, however, upgrade Derrick White’s status to probable.

Vegas odds: Heat by 1.5.

Game Prediction: Spurs by 6.

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

PtR’s Gamethread will be up this afternoon for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action through PtR’s Twitter feed.