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Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat game preview

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat are unrecognizable to casual fans. Just over two years ago, they sported a Big Three that is probably the best trio the play together in history. They won two more championship rings, but LeBron’s departure set the stage for a rebuild.

Dwyane Wade is in Chicago and Chris Bosh is sitting out in one of the oddest player-front office feuds in recent memory. He wants to play, but the Heat won’t let him for health reasons. Whether or not “health reasons” is the equivalent of “financial reasons” depends on whom you ask. More than likely, Bosh will be cut from the Heat on March 1 so he will be ineligible for postseason play with any other team.

Let’s talk about the current Heat squad, since that’s the Rockets’ opponent tonight. Miami is 11-30 and have dealt with a bunch of injuries. Not a single player has played in all 41 games for the Heat. Eleven different players have started, and ten of those players have started double-digit games. That’s a tough hand to deal with if you’re trying to win.

Luckily, the Heat aren’t stupid and know their best bet is to do some losing and get a good pick in the upcoming stacked draft. There are a ton of point guards that will be available, which has led to plenty of trade speculation regarding a former Rockets point guard from Slovenia.

Obviously, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside are the faces of the Heat. They also feature a cadre of shooters, including Luke Babbitt, rookie Rodney McGruder, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Tyler Johnson, and Wayne Ellington.

Tonight, the Heat are missing Josh McRoberts, Justise Winslow, and Josh Richardson. Willie Reed is probable with a bruised sternum.

For Houston, the Rockets are getting back Clint Capela as soon as tonight possibly. This is a game the Rockets should win, but if they let the Heat stick around, Miami has the players to pull off an upset. And before you guys jump on me for saying that, know that the Heat have beaten the Grizzlies, Jazz, and Wizards (17-6 at home) in their buildings. Make no mistake: this Heat team is dangerous.

Tip-off is at 6:30pm CT on NBA TV

For an opponent’s perspective, check out Hot Hot Hoops.