Heat vs. Kings preview: Miami looks to stop recent slide

Ezra Shaw

The Heat are below .500 on the road. The Kings are above .500 playing at home. Can Miami avoid an upset in Sacramento on Saturday night?

Having won just three games over the past two weeks - a blowout of the Wizards, plus games that required overtime against the Mavericks and Magic- the Miami Heat need to do something to get back on track. Facing the inconsistent Sacramento Kings might do the trick, even if Miami has often struggled away from South Beach this season.

Since an impressive nine-game run that saw the Heat win eight games and narrowly miss a ninth victory by just two points against Golden State, Miami has generally struggled despite playing mostly decent teams. Starting with a 109-99 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 28, LeBron and company have dropped five of their past eight games.

The Kings could be exactly what Miami needs, though the young team admittedly plays quite better at home. Despite losing back-to-back home games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks earlier this week, the Kings are still a solid 10-9 in Sacramento this season, including wins over the Knicks, Nuggets, Celtics, Warriors and Lakers.

Still, Sacramento is among the most frustrating teams in the league, boasting an impressive collection of talented young players but the worst point differential in the Western Conference this season. Blowout losses aren't exactly a rarity - of the Kings' 23 losses, 15 have been by 10 points or more.

With easy wins not coming so easy to the Heat of late, this might be the best chance they get to find some confidence on the road.

Last visit to Sacramento?

Reports continue to come out about the developing situation, but it's fairly well-known in NBA circles at this point that the Kings could be moving to Seattle next season as part of the Maloof family selling the team. With this being Miami's only visit to Sacramento this season, fans from the city could be witnessing their final chance to watch LeBron play there.

While there's still a possibility that the Kings stay in Sacramento, with one group proposing to buy the team and build an arena where Downtown Plaza mall sits, it's worth recognizing the possibility that this is the last Heat-Kings match-up in Sacramento for a very long time.

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