Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for

Warriors vs. Heat: What to watch for
December 12, 2012, 12:00 pm
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LeBron James averages 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game in 16 contests against the Warriors. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

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.