Game #21: New Orleans Hornets (4-16) vs. Miami Heat (15-5)

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29: Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat dunks over Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls during a game at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Miami Heat and New Orleans Hornets are two teams moving in very opposite directions. The Heat are fresh off their victory against the Chicago Bulls, holders of the best record in the NBA, and now sit just one game back of the top spot in the East. New Orleans has won just two of their last 18 games after opening the season with back-to-back wins and hold the worst record in the Western Conference.

The Hornets are a much different team then they have been in recent years. Before the season they traded their star point guard, Chris Paul, to the Los Angeles Clippers and lost forward David West to free agency when he signed with the Indiana Pacers. Now their top offensive player is Jarret Jack, who averages 16.5 points per game. Sure, Jack is a solid player, but isn't on the same level as the players the Hornets let go.

The main players the Hornets got from Los Angeles in the Paul trade are not even in the lineup of late. Guard Eric Gordon has been sidelined with a knee injury and has only played in two games this season. Center Chris Kaman has sat out the last three games and will continue to miss time. He is away from the team while New Orleans looks to trade him and his expiring contract.

GAME NOTES

  • Miami is 9-2 at home. New Orleans is 2-6 on the road.
  • This is the one and only meeting between the Heat and Hornets this season.
  • Miami has lost 6 of their last 8 games against New Orleans and 8 of 11.
  • The two teams split their meetings last season, with the home team winning each game.
  • This concludes the 7th set of back-to-back games for the Heat this season. So far they are 3-3 in such games.
  • New Orleans comes in having lost three straight road games.
  • Miami has won 4 straight overall.
  • The Heat are still listing Dwyane Wade (ankle) as day-to-day.
  • As for New Orleans, guard Eric Gordon (knee) is out.

Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7:30. This game is one that has ‘trap' written all over it, so hopefully the Heat remains focused.

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