NBA Basketball: Golden State at Miami Print
Written by TheSpread   
Saturday, 23 December 2006 04:41
NBA Headline News

Heat Big Public Favorites Despite Lack of Consistency on The Season

Team Page: Golden State :: Miami

70% of Bets Placed on Miami -5.5 | Matchup | NBA Picks
Last season, the Miami Heat had seven winning streaks of at least three games en route to their first NBA title. Things have not been nearly as easy in 2006-07.

Looking to establish the consistency that has been missing for much of this season, the Heat meet the Golden State Warriors at American Airlines Arena on Saturday.

Oddsmakers have made Miami -5.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds)

for todays game, the over/under has been set at 210 total points (View NBA Sports Books).

So far this season, the Heat (11-14) have failed three times to try to extend their winning streak to a season-high three games. Their latest attempt resulted in their second-worst loss of the season, a 121-95 defeat against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

``If we focus on defense, you know our offense is going to be there,'' said Miami center Alonzo Mourning, who has seen his playing time increase as Shaquille O'Neal recovers from knee surgery. ``We've shown we can do it, but it's a matter of doing it on a consistent basis. It's easier said than done.''

Mourning finished with just three points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field - his lowest point total as a starter this season.

Dwyane Wade led the team with 27 points, and is averaging 32.3 per game in his last three contests after missing two games following dental surgery earlier this month. Wade is averaging 27.6 ppg in five career matchups against the Warriors (14-14), but had his best game against them last time they met.

In a 111-106 home loss on March 10, Wade finished with 42 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.

The only player better that night was Golden State's Jason Richardson. He shot 17 of 26 from the floor and finished with a career-high 44 as the Warriors snapped a four-game losing streak to the Heat.

The former Michigan State star has struggled with knee injuries and is averaging only 13.1 ppg this season. Richardson played just 15 minutes versus the Magic and finished with five points on 1 of 5 shooting from the field.

Golden State, though, has a healthy Baron Davis in the backcourt.

The oft-injured Davis scored a season-high 38 points, and the Warriors won back-to-back road games for the first time this season after defeating Orlando 117-108 on Friday.

``We've been preaching in road games to stay close and allow our style of play to take over at the end,'' said Davis, who is averaging 27.8 points and 8.9 assists in his last five games. ``We were poised all night.''

Davis, however, is averaging just 15.6 points in 17 career games against the Heat.

Since playing all 82 games with the Charlotte Hornets in 2001-02, injuries have limited Davis to an average of 48 games per season. He missed four games earlier this year with a strained ribcage muscle.

Richardson played just 15 minutes versus the Magic and finished with five points on 1 of 5 shooting from the field.

Golden State hasn't won three in a row on the road since Nov. 25-Dec. 16, 2005.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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