Orlando, FL – The Miami Heat have overperformed this season. The addition of All-Star Forward, Jimmy Butler was the reason analysts picked them to improve their NBA odds over the 2018-2019 season. However, the emergence of Duncan Robinson, Tyler Hero, and surprise Rookie of the Year candidate, Kendrick Nunn gave the Heat a nice boost, especially at home. Although, the biggest pleasant surprise was the growth of Bam Adebayo. He was selected to his 1st NBA All-Star team and a favorite for Most Improved Player of the Year.
"Bam Adebayo is my Most Improved Player."
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 22, 2020
That being said, it’s been a tight race in the Eastern Conference. Only seven games separate the 2nd – 6th seeds with eight games remaining to determine seeding. The four-seed Heat are 5.5 games behind the two-seed Raptors and 2.5 games behind Boston. They face each team once.
Covid-19 made preparing for the restart troublesome, as Derrick Jones Jr, Bam, and Nunn all tested positive for the virus. Derrick was cleared before the team had to travel and made the trip to Orlando with the team. Bam and Kendrick had to wait to kick the virus in order to join the squad. Various other NBA stars also tested positive and had to wait to recover. However, after the 1st and 2nd waves of tests in the bubble, the NBA reported zero positive tests. That’s even with Lou Williams risking it all for “wings”. What are the odds?
“He went there for the legs and thighs”
Kenny Smith clowning Lou Williams💀💀pic.twitter.com/fdw2tvAH4a
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) July 30, 2020
Nevertheless, the NBA has resumed! Last night the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans officially kicked off the bubble with the Jazz coming from behind to win 106-104. It was followed up by a bubble classic and newly reignited rivalry between the LA Clippers and Lakers. Both teams went back and forth, trading leads, with Paul George and Lebron trading buckets down the stretch, but Lebron’s late-game defense ultimately prevailed. Lakers won 103-101.
Miami Heat NBA Odds
Now that we’re up to date and got the pleasantries out of the way, we can focus on our guys’ first game. Would you believe it? Miami, this time against the Denver Nuggets, is once again an underdog. DraftKings and FanDuel both list Miami as a two-point underdog and BetMGM has them as a 1.5-point underdog. Miami last faced Denver on the fifth of November, falling 109-89, in case you didn’t remember.
Miami has a tendency to play up to their competition, so don’t be surprised to see an “upset”. The Heat got Bam and Kendrick back for their final scrimmage. Bam played well, putting up 16 points, four rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes. He said “Give me another game. I feel like if I would have got two scrimmages in, then I feel like I’d be ready.” Well, you only get one, big fella. That being said, the Heat are consistently one of the most prepared, most conditioned teams in the NBA. The bubble should be no exception.
📸 Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports