Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND -- In the midst of trying to solve late-game issues, the Warriors next get an opponent rarely good enough this season to experience crunch time.
Indications are the Miami Heat, who visit Oracle Arena Tuesday night, are more committed to the future than the present. Long gone are the "Heatles," as team architect Pat Riley attempts a rebuild.
The Warriors have chosen to rest shooting guard Klay Thompson, who has been battling an illness for the past few days.
Though the Warriors (32-6) are coming off a win at Sacramento on Sunday, they continue to study the lessons of their last two losses, both of which came after they gave up double-digit leads in the fourth quarter.
Miami (11-28), making its fifth stop during a six-game road trip, has lost eight of its last nine.
Warriors by 15.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Zaza Pachulia vs. Hassan Whiteside: Whiteside last season came out of nowhere to claim star status, signing a four-year, $98.4-million contract in July. He's responding with a solid season and has become a force with which to be reckoned. Pachulia is playing well of late. He'll have to bring it to keep Whiteside from owning the paint.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Heat: F Udonis Haslem (respiratory illness) is questionable. G Josh Richardson (L foot sprain) is doubtful. F Justise Winslow (R shoulder surgery) is not with the team.
Warriors: 8-2. Heat: 2-8.
The Warriors have won the last four meetings, sweeping the series in each of the past two seasons, and seven of the last nine overall.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) The Catalysts: Warriors PG Stephen Curry has boosted his offense recently, earning conference player of the week honors. His counterpart with the Heat, Goran Dragic, averaged 21.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in December. Curry has averaged 35.0 points in his last six games vs. Miami. This matchup could get hot.
2) Unleash The O: The Heat struggle to score, surpassing 100 points only twice over the past eight games. Miami is dead last in true shooting percentage and 29th in offensive rating. If ever there were a game in which the Warriors could simply outscore an opponent, this is it.
3) Call for McCaw: With Thompson out, Warriors coach Steve Kerr likely will start rookie Pat McCaw. And even if he doesn't, McCaw should expect extended minutes. He'll spend time defending Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Dragic. This promises to be a good learning experience for the UNLV product.