Luka Doncic leads his Dallas Mavericks (36-28) to South Beach where they meet the Miami Heat (35-30), who have given him fits since he entered the league. Dallas has won the last meeting, but Miami is 4-1 against Doncic. The Heat will be -155 favorites while Dallas is a +135 underdog on the NBA betting odds.
As far as matchups go, I believe Erik Spoelstra has the Mavericks’ numbers here. Their last game would be an aberration as both teams, mainly the Heat, were playing like they were hungover from New Year’s Eve. This game will see both teams return to form and the Heat back in the win column.
Mavericks: Doncic on D
At just 22, Doncic could already be the best scorer in the NBA. The man of many monikers can score from anywhere on the floor. He’s an automatic highlight reel and will likely have built a digital palace inside NBA Top Shot when his career ends.
However, every superhero has its nemesis. Batman has The Joker, LeBron James has the Warriors, and Doncic has the Miami Heat. In five games against the Heat, Doncic is averaging just 17.8 points and a 94 offensive rating. Both are his career-worst.
Even if you remove the game where Doncic left the game early, he’s only averaging 21.8 points against them, which would still be his second-worst mark against any team. The issue isn’t on offense, but mainly on defense.
The Mavericks’ success is determined mainly by how much Doncic can contribute when he’s on the other side of the ball. In Dallas’s 32 wins, Doncic’s defensive rating is 107 and he’s a +15. In their 24 losses, his rating plummets to 121 and his plus/minus is -13.
Heat: What are Gods to Non-Believers?
In a league dominated by superstars and “super teams”, the Miami Heat are antithesis. Still going off their run to the NBA Finals, Miami is having a min-resurgence and have ascended past the play-in rounds of the Eastern Conference.
It’s been a rough season for Miami, which has dealt with injuries at every corner. But the team is close to full strength and no team, not even the top of the conference, would like to see them in the playoffs.
The Heat can match up against most teams regardless of who the best player is. They’re only 11-20 against teams .500 and above but have notable wins over the Brooklyn Nets, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 30, 2021
Miami is seventh in defense despite giving up the second-most three-point attempts in the league. That’s thanks to C Bam Adebayo, who is making a strong case as Defensive Player of the Year. And once G Victor Oladipo and G/F Andre Iguodala get healthy, the Heat will be a problem.
As long as Adebayo and G/F Jimmy Butler are on the floor, the Heat are a solid online bet (so long as they’re not significant chalk). The duo have solidified the Heat’s defense and both are capable of guarding almost every player
Adebayo has also evolved as a playmaker on offense and is having a career year with 19.1 points, 5.3 assists, and a 57% effective field goal percent (EFG%). With the addition of C Dewayne Dedmon, the Heat have gone 7-3 as his size, shooting, and interior presence has complimented the dynamic duo.
They’ll need every bit of Adebayo and Dedmon as they contend with the Mavericks, who are rolling with a big team. Dallas crushed Miami in rebounds the last time. The Heat should rectify that here and come away with a hard-fought win.