Charlotte Hornets vs Miami Heat Preview and Predictions -03-11-2020
When and where: March 11, 2020, American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, 7:30 PM ET
The Charlotte Hornets face lopsided odds in their journey to the American Airlines Arena on Wednesday to take on the Miami Heat. Outside of a miraculous win over the Houston Rockets, the Hornets have lost four of their last five games. They fell in a double overtime offensive shootout with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Heat got back on the winning track by upending the Washington Wizards on the road.
Hornets stung by defensive collapse
The Hornets aren’t doing a great job of convincing anyone their wins over the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors was more than simply a stroke of good fortune. Since beating the Raptors, they have gone on to lose three of their last four games. However, the most crushing defeat came in the form of a controversial double overtime loss to the Hawks.
On a night where Terry Rozier scored 40 points, it still wasn’t enough to overcome 143 points and a 55.2 field goal shooting percentage for the Hawks. The Hornets entered that game as 4.5-point dogs and look forward to cleaning up their act in Wednesday’s meeting with the Heat.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is the same Heat team that struggles on the road. They are averaging 117.0 points per game on their home floor. That’s the sort of offensive dominance that can blow the Hornets’ league-worst scoring defense out of the water.
There won’t be much stopping the bleeding on the other end of the floor, either. Charlotte is ranked 24th in the league in defensive efficiency, which could lead to big problems against a Heat team averaging 47.0 percent shooting. Unless Rozier or Devonte’ Graham have a splashy performance, this game could get out of hand fast.
Are the Heat the biggest threat to the Bucks?
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith named the Heat as the team he believes matches up the best with the top-ranked Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. He believes their league-best 3-point shooting percentage could ultimately propel them in a playoff setting.
One thing is certain: The Heat can beat any team in the league on their home floor.
They recently knocked off the Wizards on the road in a game where they were 5.5-point favorites. Even with Bradley Beal on the floor, the Heat’s defense stifled the Wizards by holding them to 89 points and a 33.3 field goal shooting percentage.
They’ll aim for an encore performance in Wednesday’s meeting with the Hornets. The Heat is averaging 47.0 percent shooting on offense heading into a game with Charlotte’s up-and-down defense. There have been times when they’ve actually been stingy in the scoring department, but their efficiency doesn’t get much further than that.
The offense of the Heat could be impacted due to the possibility of the team being short-handed on Wednesday. Jimmy Butler is currently questionable with a toe injury, while Kendrick Nunn is questionable with an illness. It could quickly turn into the Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo show if the other two are unable to go.
The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team is largely owned by retired NBA player Michael Jordan, who acquired a controlling interest in the team in 2010. The Hornets play their home games at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.
The original Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, owned by George Shinn. In 2002, Shinn’s franchise relocated to New Orleans and became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, which was regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2013, the New Orleans franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans, ultimately returning the Hornets name, records, and official history (spanning from 1988 to 2002) to Charlotte. The Bobcats were officially renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 season.