Red-hot center has Miami climbing

Red-hot center has Miami climbing

After stumbling out of the gate in 2016-17, Miami finally seems to be trending in the right direction. But can Erik Spoelstra guide his troops past the high-flying Clippers tonight?

The two clubs collide in South Beach at 8 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Los Angeles odds of -350 to emerge victorious. The Heat, on the other hand, represent +275 underdogs.

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So far this week, Miami (9-17) has knocked off Eastern Conference rivals Washington and Indiana. Not surprisingly, center Hassan Whiteside totaled 43 points and 38 rebounds in those contests. The Marshall product also averages 2.3 blocks per game. Here, his showdown with the Clips’ main man in the middle, DeAndre Jordan, promises to provide premium entertainment.

Of course, the visitors are capable of doing a lot more than simply feeding No. 6 in the post. They dispatched Orlando on Wednesday, 113-108, behind a 25-point outburst by guard Austin Rivers. Blake Griffin and Jordan added 23 and 22, respectively.

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The Clippers (19-7) won both meetings against the Heat last year. At that juncture, however, Whiteside wasn’t nearly as much of a force he is now. Expect a back-and-forth affair well into the fourth quarter.

 

FRIDAY NBA FREE PICK: CLIPPERS/HEAT OVER 206 POINTS

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