Charlotte Hornets look to rebound against the imposing Miami Heat

Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte' Graham. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

While the Charlotte Hornets’ playoff hopes have long been dashed, they still have games to play, and three of those remaining games are against their division rival, the Miami Heat.

Despite a career-high 40 points, Terry Rozier and the Charlotte Hornets (22-42) could not topple the similarly struggling Atlanta Hawks. You could argue it doesn’t really matter, of course, since the Hornets haven’t been in playoff contention for quite some time.

Some might prefer the team to lose as much as they can at this point to help better their chances at a better pick. The players still want to win, however, and win they’ll try as they head to South Beach to take on an impressive Miami Heat (41-23) team that has rocketed up the Eastern Conference standings.

One might think that the majority of their success would be at the hands of perennial All-Star, Jimmy Butler, and you’d be somewhat correct. However, the Heat sport a multi-faceted scoring attack that features eight players that average double figures.

This includes, of course, Most Improved Player candidate, Bam Adebayo, whose elevated play this season earned him his first trip to the All-Star game. Needless to say, this will yet again be a challenge for the guys repping the Queen City.

Charlotte’s last game was a 143-138 double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference. Miami’s last contest was a 100-89 win over the Washington Wizards. They are currently 4th in the East. This is the second of four meetings between these two teams.

Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat
7:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, March 11th, 2020
AmericanAirlines Arena
Fox Sports Southeast


Injury Report:




Kendrick Nunn – Illness (Questionable)

Meyers Leonard – Ankle (Out)

Udonis Haslem – Illness (Questionable)

Jimmy Butler – Toe (Questionable)

Jae Crowder– Concussion (Questionable)

Tyler Herro – Foot (Questionable)

Kyle Alexander – Knee (Out)

Things to watch for:

That’s a fair number of injuries for the Heat, but it hasn’t slowed them down very much, and I expect that to be the case against Charlotte. There’s something about the Hornets that seems to get Miami going, at least that’s been the case the past few years. The games have always been filled with an air of disdain or outright malice at times.

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It’ll be interesting to see if the bigger names get to rest in this one since the Heat have dominated the series over the past few seasons. Then again, playoff positioning is on the line for Miami, and with under a month to go in the regular season, they could decide to go all out.

Keys to the game:

Much of Miami’s game is on the glass, both offensively and defensively. They allow their opponents to snag the fewest total rebounds per game in the NBA, and respectively rank in the top four in the league in both offensive and defensive rebounds given up per contest.

They also rank in the top ten in opponent field goal percentage and opponent three-point field goal percentage. If Charlotte wants to have any chance in this one, they’ll need to come out hot and stay hot while also trying to limit what the Heat can do under the basket.

The Hornets have struggled at times when teams can keep them honest on the offensive end, and if Miami can keep their scoring going, then that might be all she wrote.

There aren’t many games left for the Hornets this season, and while most knew this would be the ultimate outcome, there are chances the team might be able to dazzle us and make us long for the future where better days might come.

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We exist in the here and now, though, and that means supporting what we currently have. They’ll need all of our support Wednesday night in Miami.