Tonight’s matchup: Heat looking for consistency, to exploit Timberwolves’ suspect defense

MIAMI HEAT VS. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn.

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 8-9, Minnesota 11-7

Justise Winslow of the Miami Heat is defended by Taj Gibson and Gorgui Dieng of the Minnesota Timberwolves during Minnesota’s victory in Miami last month.(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Justise Winslow

F: Josh Richardson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Dion Waiters

G: Goran Dragic

Timberwolves

F: Andrew Wiggins

F: Taj Gibson

C: Karl-Anthony Towns

G: Jimmy Butler

G: Jeff Teague

Scouting report: This is the final meeting of the season between the two teams. Minnesota defeated Miami, 125-122, in overtime during the second week of the season. Jeff Teague led Minnesota with 23 points, Andrew Wiggins added 22. … Karl-Anthony Towns leads the Wolves in scoring with 20.4 ppg and rebounds with 11.5 per game. Wiggins is averaging 18.8 points, Jimmy Butler 16.9. … The Timberwolves are 10th in the league in scoring with 108.1 ppg but are among the worst defensive teams. Minnesota is giving up 108.2 ppg and allowing opponents to shoot a league high 48.6 percent. … The Heat were without Hassan Whiteside in the first meeting between the two teams. Dion Waiters scored 33 points. Rookie Bam Adebayo had 13 points and 13 rebounds. … Miami has won two straight and 7-of-8 in Minnesota. … Miami has a better road record (4-4), than home record (4-5) but it is coming off its best win of the season, 104-98, against the Celtics at home.

[Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters asked Hassan Whiteside to set better screens. Message received … and fulfilled]

[Short-term memory helps Heat’s Mr. Clutch – Dion Waiters – sink Celtics in final three minutes]

[How intense were Heat’s practices leading up to win vs. Celtics? Dragic called them ‘toughest practices’ in his career]

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2016 NBA free agency: Where will Luol Deng sign?

Would Luol Deng gamble on the up and coming Timberwolves? (Getty Images)
Would Luol Deng gamble on the up and coming Timberwolves? (Getty Images)

It’s hard to predict much about the Heat’s free agency endeavor considering no one knows what Kevin Durant will do and they have complicated situations trying to retain Hassan Whiteside and Dwyane Wade.

Luol Deng looks like he might be more of a contingency than a priority in Miami’s plan, despite him saying his preference is to return and Pat Riley calling him “one of our core people.” If that doesn’t work out, here are the top four destinations for Deng:
Continue reading “2016 NBA free agency: Where will Luol Deng sign?”