Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for

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Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 4 p.m. Stick around after the final horn for Warriors Postgame Live.

The Warriors roll into Miami on Wednesday as the proud owners of a four-game road winning streak and a chance to really turn some heads around the NBA.

The Warriors are 14-7, a terrific start, no doubt. But if they can knock off the defending champion Heat on its home floor … that would be an eyebrow-raiser, to say the least.

The Heat (14-5) has won two straight and eight of its past 10 games. Miami is 10-1 at home this season.

Here are some things to watch for during Wednesday’s game between the Warriors and Heat:

Play at the right tempo: As a rule, the Warriors would like to play uptempo, and this game is no different. At the same time, Golden State needs to make sure it values possessions and gets back in defensive transition.

A track meet alone isn’t going to get it done.

As a team Miami is shooting over 50 percent from the floor and averaging 108 points per game at home. If this game goes too fast for the Warriors, they risk the possibility of getting overwhelmed by the Heat’s athleticism.

If they play too slow a pace, they risk getting swallowed up by Miami’s halfcourt defense. Golden State should want to play somewhere in the middle.

No LeBron domination: You can’t discuss the Miami Heat without discussing LeBron James, who is having an incredible season. He is averaging 25.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. Most impressive is James is shooting 54 percent from the floor, including 44 percent from 3-point range.

Rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green will likely get their chances to check James -- which is a terrific challenge for a first-year player.

Lee vs. Bosh: David Lee is playing terrific basketball right now, and he’ll need to continue that against the Heat. Chris Bosh has been playing plenty of center for Miami, but that doesn’t mean the two won’t be matched up against each other at times.

You could make a case that Lee and Bosh are similar type players – both with a little bit of an inside-out/outside-in game.

If Lee can win this matchup, it gives the Warriors a better chance to beat Miami.

 

Draymond to Curry to Durant earns Assist of the Year

Draymond to Curry to Durant earns Assist of the Year

The Draymond Green to Steph Curry to Kevin Durant lob resulted in "Assist of the Year" at the first-ever NBA Awards show on Monday night.

With 9:25 remaining in the third quarter against the Pacers on Dec. 5, Zaza Pachulia won a jump ball (against Paul George) in the backcourt.

Draymond threw a fullcourt football pass to Curry, who tracked the ball like a wide receiver on a go-route.

As he caught the ball inside the free throw line, he flipped it behind his head to a charging Durant, who guided the ball towards the rim with his left hand before flushing it with both hands.

Oracle Arena went nuts as the Warriors took an 88-56 lead.

In that same game, Klay Thompson racked up 60 points in 29 minutes.

Golden State beat Indiana 120-83 to improve to 12-2.

The Warriors recorded 45 assists, the second highest output of the season (47 against the Lakers on Nov. 23).

Nikola Jokic and Chris Paul were also nominated for the award, which was voted on by the fans.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Iguodala does not capture Sixth Man of the Year award

Iguodala does not capture Sixth Man of the Year award

Andre Iguodala spent much of the season doing whatever he could to fight off any momentum that might result in him being named Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA.

The Warriors forward need not have worried, as the award once again went to a scorer.

Rockets guard Eric Gordon won the balloting, beating out Houston teammate Lou Williams and Iguodala.

Iguodala averaged only 7.6 points per game, but shot a career-high 52.8 percent from the field and is widely considered the league’s No. 1 defender off the bench.