Game #81 Preview | Miami Heat

Tip-Off: 6:30 PM CT

Location: AmericanAirlines Center (Miami, Florida)

Television: FSOK

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

Oklahoma City is on the brink of making the playoffs, but they’re not quite there. A win tonight in Miami over the Heat, who have clinched a spot in the East, would get them there. If the Thunder can win their last two games, they could finish as high as the four-spot in the West, but several other teams would have to lose one of their final games, so the final picture is still very unclear.

Meanwhile in Miami, the Heat are fighting to finish as high as sixth in the East. They are currently tied with the Milwaukee Bucks, but they hold the tie-breaker, so they will most certainly be prepared to play a tough game tonight.

On Saturday against the Houston Rocket, the Thunder saw dramatic contributions from the Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. If those three can play at that type of a level, Oklahoma City has a good chance to make some noise in the playoffs, but perhaps the most important aspect of the game in Houston was the second-half defense. The Thunder is known for falling off in the second half, especially the third quarter, but the defense locked in and essentially won the game for OKC.

Projected Starters


  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Corey Brewer
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams


  •  PG: Gordan Dragić
  • SG: Tyler Johnson
  • SF: Josh Richardson
  • PF: James Johnson
  • C: Hassan Whiteside



  • Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery) is OUT.


  • Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) is OUT.


  • In nine seasons in Oklahoma City, the Thunder is 11-8 against the Heat (6-4 at home, 5-4 away).
  • In nine seasons in Oklahoma City, the Thunder has won the season series three times, lost it twice, and tied four times.
  • The Thunder has won six of the last seven matchups with the Heat, three of the last four in Miami.
  • The Thunder is 1-0 against the Heat this season (1-0 at home, 0-0 away).
  • The Thunder recorded a season-high 41 fourth quarter points against the Heat in Oklahoma City on March 23rd.
  • The Thunder tied a season-low one block against the Heat in Oklahoma City on March 23rd.

Game Notes

  • Oklahoma City defeated the Houston Rockets on Saturday, while Miami has won three consecutive games.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-5 in the last 10 games, while Miami is 6-4.
  • Oklahoma City is 20-20 on the road, while Miami is 25-14 at home.
  • Oklahoma City is 19-10 against the Eastern Conference, while Miami is 13-17 against the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City is 26-21 after one day of rest, while Miami is 7-5 after two days of rest.
  • The Thunder is currently seventh in the West. A win could put them as high as fifth, while a loss could drop them as low as ninth, depending upon how other NBA games play out tonight.

Be sure to check out last week’s episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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