Heat at Jazz | Saturday, 9 p.m.

Miami Heat rested for Utah Jazz after tough win against Los Angeles Clippers

Mark J. Terrill / AP

Saturday: Heat at Jazz

When/where: 9 p.m, EnergySolutions Arena.

TV/radio: Sun Sports and ESPN; WAXY 790 AM, 104.3 FM, WAQI 710 AM (Spanish)

Series: The Jazz leads 31-22.

Scouting report: The Heat comes in having won six of its past seven and eight of its past 10. And it got a scheduling break — the Jazz played in Dallas on Friday night while the Heat practiced after having Thursday off in Los Angeles. Plus, the Jazz went into Friday’s games losers of three in a row. The Heat tied a season high Wednesday with seven players scoring in double figures during the win against the Clippers.


It’s strange to say anything in six consecutive road games qualifies as a scheduling break, but the Heat sort of got one with two days between Wednesday’s exhausting, thrilling win against the Clippers and Saturday’s game at Utah.

There shouldn’t be a mental letdown, as you might expect if the Utah game came as the rear end of a back-to-back. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra gave his team Thursday off, then practiced Friday in Los Angeles. Also, the Heat should be physically rested, whereas Utah played in Dallas Friday night.

Two days also allowed for Heat guard Dwyane Wade and his temperamental knee to receive better TLC than they received during the last road trip.

For all the hand-wringing over the Heat in South Florida, whether or not they’ll catch Indiana for home court advantage, whether or not they could’ve used 7-foot Andrew Bynum, who signed with Indiana, there’s little of any hand-wringing around the Heat. They’ve won five of the last six, the only exception being a face plant at home against Oklahoma City after racing to a 22-4 lead.

LeBron James was asked after Wednesday’s win, which was by all accounts almost a Smithsonian display of team basketball for three quarters, if there were times he thought the Heat were playing the best they could.

“We’ve been playing some good basketball lately,” James allowed. “We want to continue that. When we’ve got our full unit in there, we can do some special things. We’ve got 15 guys who can be ready if Spo calls upon us. It’s great to have that now.”

Spoelstra, of course, wasn’t as effusive with his praise.

“But the way the ball was moving, particularly in the first half and the activity defensively, was more to our liking and ultimately, we think that’s a good start,” he said.

And the Clippers forced the Heat to show the mental toughness in a pressure situation that Spoelstra said earlier in the day he wanted to see. It’s doubtful he imagined it would be seeing a third 17-point third quarter lead sliced and diced down to two.

“Maybe going into the game. Once we got to that fourth quarter … be careful what you wish for,” Spoelstra laughed. “But I did mention that to the guys. Precisely what we came into the game wanting to work on, the resolve and mental toughness. The emotional stability. We certainly got tested [Wednesday].”

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, then-Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 117-109 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng.

    Miami Heat

    More comments besmirching new Miami Heat forward Luol Deng

    Days after it was revealed that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racially charged comments about new Heat forward Luol Deng before Deng became a free agent this summer, additional comments made by Ferry about Deng came to light Thursday.

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2011, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owners Michael Gearon Jr., left, and Bruce Levenson talk prior to the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. The team did not provide any details of the discipline.

    Hawks discipline GM Ferry for racist comments

    The Atlanta Hawks are sticking with general manager Danny Ferry even though the team's new majority owner wants him fired for racially charged comments about Luol Deng.

Shaquille O'Neal stopped by Doral City Hall Wednesday to say hello to the city council before sitting down with the police department. O’neal applied to be a reserve officer and is undergoing a background check.


    Shaq wants to attack crime in Doral

    Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category