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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat

Spurs kick off their annual Rodeo Road Trip against a Miami Heat squad that is rising back up after an extended losing streak.

NBA: Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

After three nights off, the Spurs are on the road for their 22nd annual Rodeo Road Trip: that time of the season that has always been about building comradery and gearing up for a final push towards the playoffs. While the latter part has been absent in recent years, the first part is still true, especially for the young Spurs who are still trying to build up their core. It will also be Victor Wembanyama’s first ever RRT and a chance for him to learn what it’s all about.

The first game will come against an up-and-down Miami Heat squad that have the talent to be much better than their record but have been plagued by their usual regular season inconsistencies. However, they’ve been on the upswing in the last week, so the Spurs need to be ready for their better version.

San Antonio Spurs (10-40) vs. Miami Heat (27-24)

February 7, 2024 | 6:30 PM CT

Watch: Bally Sports | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)

Spurs injuries: Charles Bassey — out (knee); Dominick Barlow — questionable (G-League)

Heat injuries: Dru Smith — out (knee)

What to watch for

  • The well rested Spurs — For the first time in quite a while, the Spurs will have a rest advantage over their opponent. They finally had three days off after a grueling stretch of schedule featuring 15 games in 25 days, including 10 in 14 to cap it off, and it seemed to finally catch up with them last week as they went 0-4 and were looking gassed down the stretch of games. Wemby in particular seemed to be struggling, be it from adjusting back to the rigors of an NBA schedule and playing 30+ minutes per game after his restrictions were lifted or because of the infamous South Texas allergies, which he admitted to be suffering from. The good news is the cedar won’t be a problem in Miami tonight, not to mention the Heat will be on a SEGABABA after a hard fought victory against the Magic last night. Hopefully with the rest advantage, the improved version of the Spurs will be back in action.
  • Which version of the Heat will show up — The Heat have been a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde team in recent years, often going through the regular season on cruise control before hitting the gas in the playoffs (look no further than last season, when they became just the second ever eighth seed to make the NBA Finals). Some of that can be attributed to the mindset of Jimmy Butler, who admits to saving his best effort for after the All-Star Break. Regardless, the Heat are trending upwards at the moment. After losing seven straight games, they have won three of their last four and currently sit in the 7th seed in the East, just 1.5 games behind the Pacers for the all important 6th seed to avoid the play-in tournament. Will the Spurs get the version of the Heat that have won recent games and beat them back in November, or will they get a tired squad on cruise control? The only way to find out is to tune in.

You can follow along with the game on our Twitter profile (@poundingtherock) or visit the Game Thread!