Wade Back, Heat Not

Dwyane Wade is back in the lineup, but the Miami Heat still can't seem to shake their early-season slump.

Wade will look to lead the Heat to their first win in four games on Saturday when they visit the New Jersey Nets.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Miami -1.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 178.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 95% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami -1.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Miami's top player missed the start of the season following knee and shoulder surgery, but returned Wednesday. The star guard, who averaged 27.4 points in 51 games last season, came off the bench against Seattle and scored 15 points in 24 minutes of the 104-95 loss.

Wade started on Friday and scored a team-high 23 points in 38 minutes, but the Heat (1-8) lost 92-91 to undefeated Boston. Wade missed five free throws overall and a potential game-winning shot in the final seconds.

"I'm a gamer, man. Give it to me 10 times and I'll do it 10 more times," Wade said. "There was a lot of stuff going through my head: Being out six months, my second game back I had an opportunity to win the game against the best team in the league, record-wise, in the Boston Garden."

Ricky Davis chipped in 20 points for the Heat, who opened the season with five straight losses before winning 75-72 in New York on Sunday. Davis is scoring a team-high 15.8 points per game for Miami, which is averaging an NBA-low 85.4 points - just behind the Nets, who are averaging 85.6.

Against the Celtics, the Heat scored 15 straight points in the fourth quarter to tie the game but were unable to finish off a win.

"D-Wade went for the win. Usually he hits those shots," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 17 points and nine rebounds to fall shy of his second double-double of the season.

Wade has averaged 21.8 points in 12 career games against the Nets (4-5) and had 51 points in two games against them last season.

Miami won three of four against the Nets last season, including both meetings in New Jersey. The Heat also beat New Jersey in five games in the second round of the 2006 playoffs en route to an NBA title.

New Jersey has also been slumping and lost 95-70 to Orlando on Friday for its fourth straight defeat. Jason Kidd recorded the 89th triple-double of his career with a career-high 19 rebounds, 11 points and 10 assists, but the Nets fell to 0-3 since Vince Carter sprained an ankle last week.

"I don't think I have ever seen a point guard get 19 rebounds, that's phenomenal," Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said.

Richard Jefferson, who is averaging a team-high 24.9 points, had 15 and has led the Nets in scoring in each of its first nine games. However, he shot just 4-of-19 and missed four of his 10 free throws despite having made 74 of 79 attempt from the charity stripe coming in.

"It's been tough," Jefferson said. "We just have to stay together and keep fighting hard. We'll be OK."

New Jersey managed a season-low 10 points in the first quarter after coach Lawrence Frank tried to change things up by taking center Nenad Krstic out of the starting lineup and replacing him with forward Bostjan Nachbar.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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