Miami Heat will look to overcome their loss to the Boston Celtics, a game which they lost without LeBron James, when they host the Memphis Grizzlies, the Western Conference team with the best record against the two-time defending NBA champions in recent years.
James sat out the game against the Celtics earlier this week, with Boston going on to top Miami after the Heat blew a 14-point lead.
"[His back] was sore in the walkthrough today, but he was able to go through it so I didn't think much of it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of James' condition on Wednesday. "It just didn't get better by game-time so it was a pretty easy decision on our part. We'll see how he feels when we get back to Miami."
James is expected to be OK for the Grizzlies (40-27) clash and the Heat (46-20) will need their main man at his best if the Miami is to stop Memphis, who has a 7-4 record against Miami since the 2006-07 season.
Dwyane Wade is also a doubt for the game on Friday, having struggled through the Celtics loss with a bloody nose. "I didn't feel right the whole time I was out there, tried to keep playing," Wade said. "Trainers did a good job trying to stop it. I felt like a boxer."
The Heat will see a familiar face in the opposing lineup as well, with Mike Miller, a vital part of the consecutive title run, no doubt, desperate to get one over his former team.
"That's a special place for me," Miller, who spent three years in Miami before being let go, was quoted as saying by ESPN.com. "Obviously, I was only there for three years, but it's going to be where a lot of my professional memories come from.
"That means a lot to me. You grow to be a brotherhood when you go through what we did. It's tough not being with those guys right now, but I've got a new family here now and we've got a lot of goals."
Wade also paid tribute to his former teammate, but hopes Miller ends up on the losing side after 48 minutes of basketball on Friday. "You have a connection, and it's special from that standpoint," Wade said of Miller. "He was my locker mate.
"Obviously, his unbelievable shooting ability is something that not many people have, but just his infectious laugh and how he was in the locker room, we miss that. But hopefully we don't hear him laugh at all when we see him]."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 7.30 pm ET (5 am IST, 11.30 pm GMT) start with live coverage on Sony Six in India. There is no live coverage on National TV in the US, with SUN providing coverage in Miami and TSOH broadcasting the game in Memphis.
The game can be watched online via live streaming in the US and other countries HERE.