What to know about tonight’s game: How good are the Heat? A challenging test awaits them in Oklahoma City

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gestures to his team during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

MIAMI HEAT AT OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 39-33, Oklahoma City 43-30

Line: Oklahoma City favored by 6.5 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Thunder

F: Paul George

F: Carmelo Anthony

C: Steven Adams

G: Corey Brewer

G: Russell Westbrook

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Dwyane Wade (left hamstring strain) and Hassan Whiteside (left hip flexor strain) are also listed as out for Friday’s game against Oklahoma City. … The Thunder will be without Andre Roberson (left patellar surgery). … Oklahoma City is 25-11 at home this season … The Thunder have won six of their past seven games, with their only loss coming against an undermanned Celtics team in a 100-99 defeat on Tuesday. … Oklahoma City leads the league in steals per game (8.96) and in opponent turnovers per game (16.1). … Russell Westbrook is averaging 25.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 10.2 assists for the Thunder this season. … Over the past 15 games, the Heat have recorded the league’s sixth-best net rating at 6.2 behind only the Rockets, Jazz, Warriors, Raptors and Trail Blazers. … The Heat’s offense has increased their points per game average by 14.6 since the All-Star break compared to before the break. The +14.6 is currently the biggest point differential in NBA history from before and after the All-Star break. … The Heat have made 805 3-pointers this season, already the second-most during a single-season in franchise history, and just three short of tying the franchise mark of 808 set during the 2016-17 season. … Heat center Kelly Olynyk is averaging 26.0 points on 70.4 percent shooting to go with 6.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.0 blocks over the past two games. … The Heat and Thunder have not faced off yet this season. After Friday’s game, the two teams will play again in Miami on April 9.

[With playoffs in sight, Heat facing tough three-game stretch starting with road tests at OKC, Indiana]

[Miami Heat scoring increases as they pick up the pace]

[Heat’s Kelly Olynyk is playing like a million bucks; which he also will earn when bonus kicks in]

[Wayne Ellington as he closes in on Heat 3-point field goal mark: ‘I’m not satisfied at all with 200 threes’]

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What to know about tonight’s game: Things have been going well at home for Heat lately. Will it continue vs. Knicks?

Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington (2), forward Kelly Olynyk, center, and guard Josh Richardson (0) celebrate after they defeated the Denver Nuggets in double overtime of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

NEW YORK KNICKS AT MIAMI HEAT

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: New York 26-45, Miami 38-33

Line: Off the board

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Knicks

G: Tim Hardaway Jr.

F: Michael Beasley

C: Enes Kanter

G: Courtney Lee

G: Emmanuel Mudiay

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Dwyane Wade (mild left hamstring strain) and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) are also listed as out for Wednesday’s game against New York. … The Knicks will be without Ron Baker (right shoulder surgery), Joakim Noah (personal reasons) and Kristaps Porzingis (torn left ACL). … New York is 3-13 since Porzingis went down with a season-ending knee injury. … The Knicks are ranked 21st out of 30 teams in defensive rating this season, but they have posted the league’s worst defensive rating over the past 16 games without Porzingis. … Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 20.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting over New York’s past 15 games. … The Heat are 8-1 over their past nine home games. … Over the past 15 games, the Heat have recorded the league’s seventh-best net rating at 4.4 behind only the 76ers, Trail Blazers, Warriors, Raptors, Rockets and Jazz. … The Heat have nine players averaging at least 10 points per game this season, the most in the NBA (minimum five games played). … The Heat and Knicks have already faced off twice this season, with the teams splitting those games — the Knicks beat the Heat 115-86 in New York on Nov. 29 and the Heat beat the Knicks 107-103 in overtime in Miami on Jan. 5.

[Erik Spoelstra believes mental health will become main topic among coaches in offseason]

[James Johnson turns back the clock (one year), leads Heat by dominating both overtimes]

[Heat mailbag: Which players will Pat Riley think about trading? Justise Winslow’s contract situation]

[Close games steeling Heat for the playoffs: ‘Nobody on this team is scared of the moment’]

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What to know about tonight’s game: Another night without Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson for Heat?

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle goes up for a shot against Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson and center Hassan Whiteside during the Lakers blowout victory in Miami on March 1. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI HEAT AT LOS ANGELES LAKERS

When: Friday, 10:30 p.m.

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun, NBA TV/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 36-33, Los Angeles 31-37

Line: Off the board

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Luke Babbitt

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Lakers

F: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

F: Julius Randle

C: Brook Lopez

G: Isaiah Thomas

G: Lonzo Ball

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery), Dwyane Wade (mild left hamstring strain) and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain). Josh Richardson is listed as doubtful with left foot soreness. … The Lakers will be without Channing Frye (appendectomy), Josh Hart (left hand fourth metacarpal fracture) and Brandon Ingram (left groin strain). Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. … The Lakers have played at the fastest pace in the NBA this season, averaging 103.24 possessions per 48 minutes. The Heat have played at the fifth-slowest pace, with 97.52 possessions per 48 minutes. … Since being traded to the Lakers, Isaiah Thomas is averaging 16.7 points on 39.6 percent shooting and 5.5 assists in 14 games. … The Lakers lead the NBA in paint points with 52.8 per game and are second in fast-break points with 17.3 per game. … The Heat have dropped nine straight road games, with their last road win coming on Jan. 29 against the Mavericks. … Miami is 21-6 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points. … The Heat and Lakers have faced off once this season, with Los Angeles winning that game — the Lakers beat the Heat 131-113 in Miami on March 1.

[For second time in five games, multiple missed calls in final seconds may have cost Heat a victory]

[Heat hoping not to relive horror show as they try to snap 9-game road losing streak against fast-paced Lakers]

[Heat, Wayne Ellington set franchise records for 3-point attempts in loss at Kings. Did they shoot too many?]

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What to know about tonight’s game: Will Heat have Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside vs. Kings?

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic battles for the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph during the first half Thursday, (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI HEAT AT SACRAMENTO KINGS

When: Wednesday, 10 p.m.

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 36-32, Sacramento 21-47

Line: Heat favored by 6.5 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Kings

F: Justin Jackson

F: Zach Randolph

C: Kosta Koufos

G: Bogdan Bogdanovic

G: De’Aaron Fox

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Dwyane Wade (mild left hamstring strain) and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) have also been ruled out for the Heat, but that could change depending on how Wade and Whiteside react to treatment and shootaround in the morning. … Sacramento will be without Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehabilitation) and Iman Shumpert (post-surgical left knee rehabilitation & left plantar fasciitis). … The Kings are 3-7 over their past 10 games. … Sacramento has recorded the league’s worst offensive rating and second-worst defensive rating this season. … Zach Randolph is scoring a team-high 14.8 points per game for the Kings this season, to go with 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists. … Heat forward Justise Winslow is averaging 12.2 points on 53.1 percent shooting from the field and 54.2 percent shooting from 3-point range, to go with 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists over his past nine games. … Miami is 21-6 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points. … Dwyane Wade is currently six points short from the 22,000th point of his career. … The Heat’s bench has averaged 53.0 points, 23.7 rebounds, 12.8 assists, 5.2 steals and 2.5 blocks while posting a +32.8 plus/minus per game over the last six contests. … The Heat and Kings have faced off once this season, with Sacramento winning that game — the Kings beat the Heat 89-88 on Jan. 25.

[Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside listed as out for Wednesday’s game at Kings. But that could change]

[Breaking down the schedules: What are Heat’s chances of moving up in Eastern Conference race?]

[What has happened to the Heat’s one-time success away from home?]

[Mailbag: Could Pat Riley coach this Heat team as it is currently made up? Has Spo found his starting five?]

[Justise Winslow continues ascent and this time without Dwyane Wade in uniform]

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Heat could be without Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside vs. Trail Blazers to start West Coast trip

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) shoots over Washington Wizards’ Mike Scott (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Miami. The Heat won 129-102. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — There’s good news and bad news for the Miami Heat.

The good news is the Heat will hit the road for their three-game West Coast trip on a two-game winning streak. The bad news is they could have to start that trip Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers without Dwyane Wade and Hassan Whiteside. Continue reading “Heat could be without Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside vs. Trail Blazers to start West Coast trip”

What to know about tonight’s game: Will Wayne Ellington return for Heat’s big game vs. 76ers?

The Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic (7) takes the ball between the Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons (25) and Robert Covington (33) in the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. The Heat won, 102-101. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS AT MIAMI HEAT

When: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Philadelphia 35-28, Miami 34-31

Line: 76ers favored by 1.0 point

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

76ers

F: Robert Covington

F: Dario Saric

C: Joel Embiid

G: J.J. Redick

G: Ben Simmons

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Wayne Ellington (left quad contusion) is listed as probable after missing the past four games with his injury. … The 76ers have not made their updated injury report available yet. … After a 25-25 start to the season, Philadelphia has recorded a 10-3 record. … The 76ers have posted the fifth-best defensive rating this season, allowing 103.3 points per 100 possessions. … 76ers forward Dario Saric is averaging 19.0 points on 48.7 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three games against the Heat this season. … The Heat are 20-6 this season when holding opponents to under 100 points. … Justise Winslow is shooting 52.7 percent (29-of-55) from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from 3-point range over his past six games. … Josh Richardson has recorded a team-leading 97 steals this season while also blocking 59 shots, the second-most on the team. He is one of just two players in the league to record at least that many steals and blocks this season, joining only All-Star Andre Drummond from the Pistons. … The Heat and 76ers have already faced off three times this season, with Philadelphia winning two of the three games — the 76ers beat the Heat 103-97 in Philadelphia on Feb. 2, the 76ers beat the Heat 104-102 in Philadelphia on Feb. 14 and the Heat beat the 76ers 102-101 in Miami on Feb. 27. … Miami and Philadelphia will play their entire four-game season series in a span of 35 days. This 35-day stretch is the shortest four-game season series for the Heat in franchise history.

[Two critical incorrect calls hurt Heat in final seconds of overtime loss to Wizards, according to NBA report]

[Dwyane Wade visits Stoneman Douglas High today making for ‘an interesting lunch’ for students]

[It didn’t take long for Dwyane Wade to turn into an essential part of Miami Heat’s on-court formula]

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Dwyane Wade visits Stoneman Douglas High today making for ‘an interesting lunch’ for students

Dwyane Wade during his visit today at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. (Courtesy Aerie Yearbook)

MIAMI – Dwyane Wade has been out front in his support for those impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland on Feb. 14.

Wade continued to show that love today by stopping by the high school to visit with students, faculty and staff on their first full day of school since 14 students and three adults were killed by a former student.

Wade’s visit was captured on social media, including a post by Rosalind Osgood, a Broward County school board member, who posted a picture of her and Wade.

Diego Pfeiffer posted a picture of Wade being escorted through the school and thanked Wade “for casually dropping by our school and causing a stampede in the cafeteria. An interesting lunch to be sure, thank you for your support!”

Joey Pelose posted a picture of Wade and called it “the greatest moment of my life.”

Here is what Wade had to say about his visit on his Twitter account:

Wade was handed a microphone and spoke to the students.

“I’ll tell you one thing, when I was in high school, our lunch wasn’t like this,” he said to the excited group.

“First of all, I am so excited to be back in this city and this state. I just wanted to come here today and hopefully, for a moment, for a second, bring a little bit of this, bring a little excitement, bring a little joy. What you guys have been going through and how resilient you guys have been has been amazing from afar and I just wanted to come and say I am inspired by all of you.

“As someone out here in the public eye, I’m proud to say I’m from this state, because of you guys, because of the future of this world, because of you guys. I just say thank you, man. MSD Strong all the way, right? Thank God for the love, I appreciate it so much.”

Wade was touched when the parents of one of those killed, 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, revealed they had buried their son in Wade’s basketball jersey.

Dwyane Wade presented a jersey and custom-made sneakers to Joaquin Oliver’s family on Saturday.

Since then, Wade’s mother Jolinda and his sister Tragil met and spoke with Joaquin’s family, including his mother Patricia and father Manuel, for more than two hours at their Coral Springs home last week before Patricia, Manuel and their daughter, Andrea Ghersi, were guests of Wade for Saturday’s game against Detroit.

Wade presented the family with a Vice Jersey and custom-made sneakers following the game.

“It’s a tough time for their family. It’s a tough time for a lot of families in Parkland,” Wade said. “I’m thankful they came to the game, thankful I got a chance just to talk to them and tell them my appreciation, to let them know we will continue to use our voice, to continue to shine the light on what they’re talking about and what they’re going through and what they’re dealing with.”

 

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Where will the Heat finish in the Eastern Conference playoff race? A look at where they stand

Goran Dragic #7 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat react to a call against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on March 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — How do you know the Eastern Conference playoff race is tight? Look at the standings or just watch two teams battling for playoff positioning face off.

Just four games separate the No. 3 Cleveland Cavaliers and the No. 8 Miami Heat. And only four points separated the eighth-place Heat and fifth-place Wizards on Tuesday in Miami’s 117-113 overtime loss in Washington. Continue reading “Where will the Heat finish in the Eastern Conference playoff race? A look at where they stand”

What to know about tonight’s game: Heat hit the road after successful homestand to take on Wizards

Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic (7) drives to the basket as Washington Wizards’ Otto Porter Jr. (22) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Miami. The Wizards won 102-93. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI HEAT AT WASHINGTON WIZARDS

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 34-30, Washington 36-28

Line: Wizards favored by 5.0 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Luke Babbitt

F: James Johnson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Josh Richardson

G: Goran Dragic

Wizards

F: Otto Porter

F: Markieff Morris

C: Marcin Gortat

G: Bradley Beal

G: Tomas Satoransky

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Wayne Ellington (left quad contusion) missed his third consecutive game in Monday’s win over the Suns, and his status is in question for Tuesday’s game. … The Wizards will be without star point guard John Wall (left knee surgery). … Washington has lost three consecutive games. … Since Wall has been out with his injury, the Wizards have posted a 10-6 record. … Bradley Beal has averaged 21.6 points on 44.3 percent shooting, 4.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists since Wall has been out. … The Heat just completed a 4-1 homestand with a win over the Suns on Monday. … Miami is ranked eighth out of 30 teams in defensive rating, allowing 104.3 points per 100 possessions. … Heat center Hassan Whiteside is averaging 14.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks in six games since the All-Star break. … No. 7 Miami is two games behind No. 5 Washington in the Eastern Conference standings. … The Heat and Wizards have already faced off two times this season, with the two teams splitting those games — the Wizards beat the Heat 102-93 in Miami on Nov. 15 and the Heat beat the Wizards 91-88 in Washington on Nov. 17.

[Five takeaways: Heat pound defenseless Suns, move into seventh in the East]

[Dwyane Wade on Kobe Bryant’s Oscar victory: ‘He has set a bar for success when you get done playing’]

[Adebayo on Heat allowing him to miss win vs. Pistons to attend great-grandmother’s funeral: ‘It shows it’s not just an organization here, it’s a family’]

[Pat Riley explains what he likes about this Heat roster and issues defensive challenge]

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What to know about tonight’s game: In middle of East playoff race, eighth-place Heat set to face ninth-place Pistons

Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) drives against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Detroit. The Pistons defeated the Heat 111-107. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT PISTONS AT MIAMI HEAT

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WQBA 1140AM (Spanish)

Records: Detroit 29-33, Miami 32-30

Line: Heat favored by 5.5 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Pistons

F: James Ennis III

F: Blake Griffin

C: Andre Drummond

G: Reggie Bullock

G: Ish Smith

Heat

F: Justise Winslow

F: Kelly Olynyk

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Josh Richardson

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Wayne Ellington (left quad contusion) and Tyler Johnson (left quad contusion) are listed as doubtful. Derrick Jones Jr., who has six NBA days remaining on his two-way contract with the Heat, is expected to be on Miami’s active roster against Detroit if Ellington and Johnson are unable to play. … The Pistons will be without Reggie Jackson (right ankle sprain) and Jon Leuer (left ankle surgery). … The Pistons are 2-7 over their past nine games, including a 115-106 overtime loss to the Magic in Orlando on Friday. … Blake Griffin is averaging 17.8 points on 39.3 percent shooting to go with 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 13 games since being traded to the Pistons on Jan. 29. … The Heat have posted a 3-9 record over their past 12 games. … Miami has nine players averaging at least 10 points per game this season, the most in the NBA (minimum five games played). … Dwyane Wade is averaging 26 points on 61.8 percent shooting in the Heat’s past two games. … The No. 8 Heat are three games ahead of the ninth-place Pistons in the Eastern Conference standings. … The Heat and Pistons have already faced off three times this season, with Detroit winning two of the three games — the Pistons beat the Heat 112-103 in Detroit on Nov. 12, the Heat beat the Pistons 111-104 in Miami on Jan. 3 and the Pistons beat the Heat 111-107 in Detroit on Feb. 3. … The Heat have started their critical five-game homestand with a 2-1 record.

[Pat Riley on Dwyane Wade as an activist: ‘People believe him. People will follow him’]

[Erik Spoelstra on watching film from Heat’s loss to Lakers: ‘It was a horror show’]

[Heat notebook: Hassan Whiteside believes he can play up-tempo style even with knee brace, injury update]

[Dwayne Wade finds offensive groove again, but performance overshadowed by Heat’s inept defense]

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