What: Charlotte Hornets (29-30) vs. Miami Heat (37-21)
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, N.C.
How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
CHA: Gordon Hayward: out (left ankle), Cody Martin: out (left ankle/Achilles soreness), Jalen McDaniels: out (left ankle sprain).
MIA: Jimmy Butler: questionable (shoulder), Dewayne Dedmon: out (personal reasons), Udonis Haslem: questionable (corneal abrasion), Tyler Herro: out (knee), Caleb Martin: questionable (Achilles), Markieff Morris: out (back), Victor Oladipo: out (right knee), Javonte Smart: out (G League).
Cody will be sidelined for this Martin Twins reunion, but his brother Caleb was recently converted from a Two-Way to a standard NBA contract with the Heat for the remainder of the season. Caleb has averaged 9.5 points and 4 rebounds per game in 44 appearances with 10 starts, marked improvements from his time with the Hornets. He’s questionable tonight, but either way, congrats to him.
Along with Phoenix, Miami is the only other team that ranks in the top-seven in offense and defense. Butler and Bam Adebayo are playing like All-Stars, and Kyle Lowry has slid right in as the team’s pacemaker. Martin, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Ömer Yurtseven have all filled valuable roles and added themselves to the long list of undrafted players that the Heat have helped turn into long-term rotation pieces.
Erik Spoelstra has never been named Coach of the Year. That’s very strange to me, as he’s long had the reputation of one of the NBA’s elite coaches. If the Heat can finish out the season as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, it’s time to give the man his award.
Per odds provided by BetMGM, the only player with a better chance than Kelly Oubre Jr. to win Sixth Man of the Year is Tyler Herro. He’ll be out tonight, but Herro is averaging 20 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, shooting 37.4 percent from deep with only 10 starts this season. Funny enough, the Hornets now have two contenders for the award with Montrezl Harrell on the roster.
Last game until the All-Star break. It’ll be nice for us all to take a breather with how things have gone lately, and surely it’ll be nice for the players and coaching staff to get a well-earned week off after a grueling stretch to start the season — everyone except for LaMelo Ball, that is. He’ll be taking part in the Rising Stars game on Feb. 18 before he makes the first of many appearances in the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20. The NBA’s schedule of events can be found here.