MIAMI HEAT (6-2)
at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (5-2)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Even, Total: 198.5
The Heat are looking to rebound off of a tough loss in Memphis when they visits a flourishing Clippers team on Wednesday night.
The Clippers have won three straight games (SU and ATS), all by double-figures. They beat San Antonio (106-84) and Atlanta (89-76) at home sandwiched around a 103-90 road win in Portland. Los Angeles is playing great basketball and that is largely due to its performance on the offensive side of the ball where the Clippers have 102.1 PPG (3rd-best in NBA) on 49.6% FG (2nd-best in league). The Heat have been even more impressive than L.A. on the offensive end, scoring a league-best 105.5 PPG on 49.7% FG.
Who will win this marquee showdown? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. Thanks in part to a 5-0 ATS mark on Tuesday Best Bets, the experts are a collective 43-35-2 ATS (55%) in NBA Best Bets so far this year. StatFox Gary is at 63% ATS (5-3), StatFox Scott is 59% ATS (10-7) and StatFox Brian is 57% ATS (12-9-1). As far as Totals go, StatFox Scott is an amazing 17-5 (77%) on Totals for the season.
The Heat shot poorly (38% FG) in their loss to the Grizzlies on Sunday, but found their shooting stroke the next night in Houston with 113 points on 51% FG. Coach Erik Spoelstra has done a phenomenal job of managing the egos in Miami the past few seasons, but this year he’s in charge of getting more talented players involved in an offense where Dwyane Wade (18.4 PPG) and LeBron James (23.9 PPG) need the ball often. Chris Bosh has also been a scoring machine with three straight 20-point games to up his season average to 20.9 PPG. Ray Allen has been deadly playing off of those two, averaging 12.6 PPG and shooting 54 percent from three-point range. It’s players like Allen and Rashard Lewis who are nearly impossible to guard once the Heat big three can get themselves going.
The Clippers, on the other hand, are one of the hottest teams in the league. Blake Griffin (15.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG) has been playing with tenacity on the defensive end for the first time in his career and it is really showing (0.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game). He has been focused in his matchups against players like Tim Duncan and has even gotten the better of most of his opponents. Jamal Crawford has been a sixth man of the year candidate early on, averaging 20.3 PPG on 50% FG and 41% from three-point land. The Clippers go as far as their point guard Chris Paul (17.1 PPG, 10.3 APG) takes them, but when the rest of the team is playing at a high level, it’s extremely difficult to slow this team down.