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Houston Rockets vs. Miami Heat game preview

The Rockets look to build off their win over one Eastern Conference contender when they travel to South Beach to face another

NBA: Preseason-Miami Heat at Houston Rockets Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets broke The Rule of Three on Saturday night.

Admittedly, it was a big night in Houston sports for a different reason. C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans went on the road and punched their ticket to the postseason. That alone qualified as a minor miracle based on expectations coming into the season. But like the upstart Texans, the Rockets have also been a pleasant surprise and sport a 4-3 record against teams in the top two of each conference. At 18-16, Houston is firmly in the play-in hunt, but admittedly you probably wouldn’t pick them to finish ahead of Phoenix, the Lakers, and Golden State by the end of the year. Still, the Texans have infused hope into the city’s fanbase. It’s time to dream a little dream.

Tonight’s opponent is the Miami Heat, sitting at 20-15 and in eighth place in the East but just half a game out of fourth place. Unlike the Rockets, who would be thrilled to get a play-in game, the Heat know that their goal doesn’t end at getting into the playoffs. They’re a team designed to win one game at a time. That allows them to grind through games and take down opponents that might have more talent on paper. We saw it in 2020 in the Bubble and we saw it again last season. We also saw them run out of steam in the Finals, but when you get through three wars, it’s tough to find the strength to win another.

The Heat will be without Jimmy Butler, but have a wide array of “Guy who will go 8-8 from deep against the Rockets” candidates. That’s the subject of our poll question below.

Tip-off

6:30pm CT

How to Watch

Space City Home Network

Injury Report

Rockets

Dillon Brooks-GTD (abdominal)

Tari Eason-GTD (leg)

Heat

Jimmy Butler-OUT (foot)

Caleb Martin-DOUBTFUL (ankle)

The Line (as of this post)

MIA -5

Looking ahead because we can

Wednesday night in Chicago

Poll

Poll

Which Heat player will go off from deep?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Tyler Herro
    (20 votes)
  • 47%
    Duncan Robinson
    (29 votes)
  • 11%
    Kyle Lowry
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    Josh Richardson
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (explain in comments)
    (2 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now