Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets take on the Miami Heat for the second time this season, and the first time in the Spectrum Center Friday night.
The Hornets are coming off a 12 point loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night and look to score their first win over Miami this season. When the two teams met in South Beach on December 1, the Heat scraped by with a 105-100 win thanks in large part to Josh Richardson’s efforts.
Richardson had 10 points in the first half, and came out of the break hitting all five shot attempts for an 11-point third quarter. Richardson would finish the night with a career best 27 points. Folks I guess you could say that the Heat was on for Richardson! (I’m sorry).
Richardson had the game of his life two weeks ago against the Hornets. But aside from that night, he’s had a fairly average season, scoring a pedestrian 10 points a night on 41 percent shooting and 32 percent from three. Goran Dragic continues to be the Heat’s leading man, scoring 17 points a night and handing out about four assists a night. Greatest-player-on-Earth Dion Waiters is scoring about 14 points a night but needing 14 shots to get there. Righteous. Never change, Waiters.
Miami’s coming into Friday’s game a bit shorthanded. Hassan Whiteside is again unavailable due to a knee bruise, and both Justise Winslow and Tyler Johnson’s statuses are unknown; Winslow left the Portland game with a knee strain and Johnson didn’t play at all due to a migraine.
What I’m looking for in tonight’s game is how well does Miami shoot the three-ball? The Heat are a top-10 team in both three’s attempted (32) and percent made (37). It’s worth noting that Miami is not a good offensive rebounding team and Charlotte is the very best defensive rebounding team in the league. If Miami’s shots aren’t falling, Charlotte should be able to exploit their rebounding advantage and create points off of Heat misses.
Like Charlotte, Miami’s coming off a road loss to a Western Conference opponent, falling in Portland Wednesday night. And, again like Charlotte, the past five games haven’t been kind to Miami, as they’ve lost three of their last five. Something’s gotta give Friday night in Charlotte. Here’s hoping it’s a Hornet win.