By David Dwork

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been a long time since the Miami Heat have been above .500, which is odd considering no team in the NBA was better during the second half of last season.

The Heat will look to improve to 2-1 on the young campaign when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night at American Airlines Arena.

Miami hasn’t had a winning record since earning a victory on Opening Night last season against Orlando, who incidentally defeated the Heat during their home opener last Wednesday.

Atlanta (1-2) is still waiting to play a home game. Miami is stop four of five on a season opening road trip.

The Hawks have lost two straight after spoiling the Dallas Mavericks’ home opener last week, including a 116-104 setback to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Miami hasn’t played since taking down the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

The Heat could be without center Hassan Whiteside, who missed Miami’s last game and is listed as doubtful for Monday with a knee bruise.

Whiteside had 26 points and 20 rebounds during the Heat’s loss to the Magic and is poised to continue his ascension among the NBA’s best big men, but it seems that will have to wait at least one more game.

With Whiteside likely out, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra may again turn to youngster Jordan Mickey, who was a surprising addition to the starting lineup on Saturday.

Mickey only played 14 minutes but was 4-of-5 from the field, scoring 8 points and adding six rebounds.


  • Atlanta could be without point guard Dennis Schroder, who went down with a bruised left foot on Sunday. He’s listed as doubtful.
  • The Heat voted Udonis Haslem, Goran Dragic and James Johnson as the team’s captains for this season.
  • Haslem treated his teammates to a luxury box on the field for Sunday’s Miami Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium.
  • Hawks forward Luke Babbitt will face the Heat after spending last season in Miami. Babbitt is averaging 4.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes so far with Atlanta.

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