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Rockets vs. Heat game preview: draft considerations

NBA: Miami Heat at Houston Rockets POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat won yesterday on a buzzer beater by Bam Adebayo to beat the Brooklyn Nets.

Tonight, the Heat get a scorching-hot Rockets squad coming off a win in Orlando.

I know it’s been mentioned once or a hundred times in this space, but Miami’s success is of paramount importance to Houston fans. If the Rockets fail to land in the top 4 of the NBA Draft (48% chance), then Houston will end up with Miami’s first round pick after Oklahoma City swaps their own pick with Houston.

After a sluggish start to the season (with several mitigating factors), the Heat have climbed to 29-28 and seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are two games back of the Atlanta Hawks for first place in the Southeast Division and fourth place in the East. With the number of teams starting to tank increasing by the day, the odds of Miami falling below eighth place in the East is pretty slim.

So tonight is one of the only games left on Houston’s schedule that we should want the Rockets to win. The Rockets also play the Bucks twice and Blazers once. Houston owns both teams’ first round pick.

Victor Oladipo is out indefinitely for the Heat with a knee injury. Jimmy Butler missed Sunday’s game against the Nets with an ankle injury but could be back tonight. The Rockets will get John Wall back after resting him on the first night of a back-to-back against Orlando.

Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest