I would hazard a guess that playing the Miami Heat in the preseason is not as difficult as taking them on in the postseason.
Twice in the last four years, the Miami Heat have come out of the Eastern Conference. In neither situation were they favorites in any round outside of maybe the first, yet the “Heat Culture” continued to prevail until they reached the Finals, losing 4-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 in the Disney World Bubble, and 4-1 last year to the superior Denver Nuggets.
Obviously, the Houston Rockets would love to capture some of that magic. Everyone would. In years past, it was the San Antonio Spurs that seemed to have it, but with the Spurs dropping back into the lottery, the Heat are the big boys on the block. Again, they will enter the season with lower expectations than the cream of the crop in the East. And again, those top tier teams will be terrified to play the Heat in the playoffs. As they should be.
Anyway, back to the Rockets. I know we’d all like to see Jalen Green get some run tonight, but if he really is dealing with a toenail issue, it’s best for him to miss games like this that don’t count in the standings. Alperen Sengun has had better stretches of play, and in particular it felt like he was lost against the San Antonio Spurs in both contests. Jabari Smith Jr. has played well in preseason, and he just looks more confident with the ball in his hands.
So, what do you want to see in the final preseason game?
Tip-off is at 7pm CT, so the Astros game should be over or at least winding down
How to Watch
Space City Home Network
Per Jonathan Feigen, Jalen Green is back tonight, but Tari Eason is still out.
Jimmy Butler will not play for the Heat after having a dental procedure.