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Nets face the Heat

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NBA: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

About Monday night. The San Antonio Spurs, fresh off an overtime battle in Cleveland, came to Brooklyn to face the Nets. The Spurs were without Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard. What happened? They mashed the Nets by 26 points. Sheesh.

Making the trip into town will be the Miami Heat. It’s been an incredibly disappointing season, but they’ve been playing well lately. They’ve won their last four games, including an upset over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. This is the first night of a back-to-back for Miami. They’re in Chicago to play the Bulls tomorrow night. They’ll also see the Nets again next week in Miami.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

We found out on Monday morning that Jeremy Lin reaggravated his hamstring injury and will be out another 3-5 weeks. Caris Levert was given Monday off to rest so he should be back on the court tonight. Joe Harris remains out.

Justise Winslow is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Josh Richardson is out with a foot injury. Josh McRoberts has been out since December with a foot injury. Tyler Johnson won’t be with the team as he’s dealing with a shoulder injury. And Chris Bosh still hasn’t been cleared by team doctors thanks to his history of blood clots.

The game

With Lin gone for the foreseeable future, the rookie point guard duo of Isaiah Whitehead and Spencer Dinwiddie will have even more time to prove themselves. They’ve played decently and will be battling it out to see who will become the first guard off the bench if/when Lin returns. Goran Dragic will be a nice test for them. There are trade rumors surrounding him, but he’s been playing really well as of late. During the team’s four game winning streak, he’s been averaging 24 points and five assists a night on 56 percent shooting from the field and 47 percent from three point range.

The matchup at center should be fun. With Bosh and Dwyane Wade out of the picture, Hassan Whiteside has become Miami’s franchise player. He’s currently leading the league in rebounding and is fifth in blocks per game. It’s helped him hold opponents to around 50 percent shooting inside of six feet. That creates an issue for Brook Lopez. He’s most effective on the inside, but with that being a strength of Whiteside’s, he might spend most of the evening on the perimeter.

Player to watch: Dion Waiters

Welcome to Waiters Island. Waiters bet on himself this summer in search of a big contract. However, no one came fishing and he wound up signing a one year contract with the Heat. He’s done his usual Dion things, but he has looked spectacular over the past two games. He scored 33 points in each game and has made 11 three pointers along the way. With Richardson out, Waiters will get all the shots he needs to carry the offense.

Bojan Bogdanovic should be busy tonight. He was expected to be a solid secondary option next to Lopez, but hasn’t really lived up to his end of the bargain. He’s shown that he has the potential to carry his team’s offense, but hasn’t done it enough for the Nets this year.

From the Vault

It’s always a good time for a classic Vince Carter performance.

More reading: Hot Hot Hoops