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Danny

Clippers at HEAT Official Preview and Game Thread

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(Photo Credit: Marc Serota)

The Miami HEAT host the Los Angeles Clippers tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT (32-14) lead the Eastern Conference. The Clippers (35-16) are holding onto the third seed in the West. Tip off is set for 8:00 PM; coverage on Sun Sports starts at 7:30 PM.

1: As of this writing, the Clippers may or may not have Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford and some guy named Blake Griffin available tonight. There’s not really a question here.

Couper Moorhead: Yet another HEAT game with an opponent not at full strength. It’s getting a little old, but fans would rather the HEAT be the ones at full strength than the other way around. What this means is that, even if all their guys play, throw out the idea of a statement game that really *means* something and just enjoy the game for what it is.

Danny Martinez: I can’t say I’m really surprised. If I listed all of the marquee players who have missed games against the HEAT we’d be here until next week. It’s unfortunate because if both teams have their full rosters, we’re in for a great show. My fingers have been crossed since Wednesday night. They’ll stay that way until game time.

2: Since we likely both consider the Clippers an elite team despite of all their injuries, do they need to be 100 percent healthy to remain elite come playoff time?

Couper: They could probably be without Billups or possibly even a DeAndre Jordan and still have enough to make a serious run, but an injury or two, while never ideal, might make things easier on Vinny Del Negro. There are some serious rotation questions to be answered once we pass the mid-point of April, and the Clippers won’t be able to play all of their role players. That means, if healthy, that (probably) the most valuable bench unit in the league would have its minutes reduced, and players like Crawford and Eric Bledsoe would have to get used to some different combinations on the court.

Danny: They don’t need to be 100 percent, but they need Chris Paul to be 100 percent. In the playoffs, depth is often overrated. For the most part, production only comes from the top six or seven spots. And even then, it’s heavily skewed towards the top two or three. So if Paul and Blake Griffin are healthy, the Clippers will be a problem out West.

3: Assess how Chris Andersen is playing so far and how he is fitting in. Go. Now?

Couper: He’s doing just fine. According to Erik Spoelstra, Andersen’s – no, I’m still not referring to him as Birdman, at least not in print – conditioning is well ahead of schedule considering Spoelstra wasn’t planning on him playing before the All-Star break. Andersen’s rebounding rates are off the charts right now, and even if they don’t sustain, he’s doing everything you could expect from him so far, albeit with fewer blocks that has more to do with randomness than an indictment of his skills. He’s coming along nicely with his grasp of the defensive system as well – there has still be a little freelancing – but what is really going to keep him on the court is his ability to provide offensive value as a spread-pick-and-roll guy. If he can keep doing that, he’ll play.

Danny: It’s hard not to be excited about what Andersen has shown the last couple of weeks. His relentless energy fits right in with HEAT beliefs. Andersen’s ability to crash the glass, on both the offensive and defensive ends is a huge plus for the HEAT. Once Andersen gets his legs under him, I suspect his shot blocking and defense will become big time assets. He’s fitting in, and that’s really all you can hope for.

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@IraHeatBeat: Ray Allen (flu) expected to miss tonight's Clippers game. Bosh and Wade listed as game-time decisions. All missed shootaround.

I think we can win without one of Bosh or Wade but not both. Hopefully one of them channels their inner MJ lol

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We'll need Wade and Bosh if we're going to beat the Clips with CP3 and Griffin. I hope everyone plays, we need the challenge.

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It would be interesting to see the Heat play a tough team like the Clippers without Wade and Bosh. LBJ could turn back the hands of time and re-live his Cavalier days. lol

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If he did ban me forever and if he failed delete close the Mario's thread

i know already your answer no balls and no trust your idole <_<

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If he did ban me forever and if he failed delete close the Mario's thread

i know already your answer no balls and no trust your idole <_<

is this a question? i dont understand what youre saying

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If Almario Chalmers broke his record of Trey then ban me forever but if he failed then close that dumb Mario's thread.

Do you want to bet ?

i know already your answer no balls and no trust your idole <_<

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If Almario Chalmers broke his record of Trey then ban me forever but if he failed then close that dumb Mario's thread.

Do you want to bet ?

i know already your answer no balls and no trust your idole <_<

i think ill just suspend you for being such a troll

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MIAMI should win this game with or without WADE/BOSH duo.If everyone step up, there shouldn't be any reason MIAMI loses this game. Protect your house MIAMI...TEAM HEAT since'88!

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Da fuq Bosh getting everyone sick.

But with Bosh and Ray out, I expect UD, Rio and MM if he plays to step up for us. Big rebound game needed by UD again. Birdman will bring his high energy and Lewis will prob get some burn too. Kinda hate that a lot of the elite teams we have faced weren't at full strength with their stars

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Some crazy *** diarrhea going around in the Heat locker room. The mystery is who is responsible for this??? Who brought the damn virus into the Heat's locker room?!??!

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No reasons why Heat shouldn't compete and go for revenge against a Clipper team that EMBARRASSED us last time. Heat have got to bring their DEFENSE, and be patient with their shots. I think with Ray and Bosh out, we will defensively be better.

On Offense, Dwade and Lebron better buy a house in the PAINT AREA, and make a living at the Free Throw line. If you see Dwade and Lebron settle for jumpers, that mean we will lose this one.

NO EXCUSES. Heat need to start playing now.

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Virus... Flu... oh yeah

Bosh & Wade has BIRD FLU , Heat probably got one of those Birds in their locker room spreading its wings and diseases <_<

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Virus... Flu... oh yeah

Bosh & Wade has BIRD FLU , Heat probably got one of those Birds in their locker room spreading its wings and diseases <_<

Well not to fear the Birdman is in da house tonight. Our MVP is JOEL, and when he is on the floor and playing hard, our team defense picks up. I hope that:

Starting lineup will be: Mario-Dwade-Lebron-UD-Joel.

Second Unit: Cole-Miller-Bron-Battier-Birdman

Third Unit: Rio-Dwade-Lewis-Battier-Joel

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