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PreHeat: New Orleans Hornets (14-8) at Miami Heat (17-8)

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="428" caption=""I swear Chris, the basket felt THIS big against them Heat""][/caption]
  • Redemption was fulfilled against the Utah Jazz last Wednesday and it’s time to once again claim reparations. This time it’s for the Hornet’s victory over the Heat in November in what was arguably the best game of Emeka Okafor’s life. If Emeka manages to shoot 12-for-13 for 26 points again, I give up.
  • After starting their season with a franchise record best 11-1, the Hornets have cooled off and fallen into a recession of Ws. Since their memorable loss to NBA worst Clippers, the Hornets have gone an acerbic 3-8 with "respectable" losses to elite opponents Jazz, Spurs (twice), Thunder (twice), and Knicks. The tough schedule surely merits careful consideration for the slump but the Hornets are coming off an 18 point loss in Philadelphia yesterday, perturbing Hornet fans worldwide.
  • In case you're living under a rock (only acceptable if your name is Patrick and are a fictitious starfish) and have not heard, the Hornets are becoming the first team to be owned by the NBA. David Stern confirmed the NBA will be purchasing the team for an estimated $300 million in hopes of stabilizing the franchise and decrease the accumulating debt flagging the team’s value.
  • Miami is still one of the worst teams at scoring near the basket, averaging 10.5 field goals at the rim, good for 2nd worst in the NBA only behind the New Jersey Nets. Hornets are not too far behind, averaging 12.0 field goals at the rim putting them at 5th worst. Unless one fails to appeal to these numbers, an entertaining shooting clinic will ensue.
  • Both teams are equally fierce at building a defensive wall around the paint, the Heat allowing 12.1 field goals at the rim (2nd in NBA) and the Hornets a close 12.6 (7th in NBA). Whoever is most successful at penetrating these walls holds the key to a victory. Or they can go Millsap and go on a shooting rampage.
  • Read up on the opponent’s view at Hornets 24/7. Smart is contagious.
Home Away
Miami New Orleans
Heat Hornets
17-8 Record 14-8
(4th of 30) 110.8 Off Rtg 104.6 (21st of 30)
(2nd of 30) 100.1 Def Rtg 101.6 (5th of 30)
(25th of 30) 90.8 Pace 90.5 (5th of 30)
Likely Starters
Carlos Arroyo PG Chris Paul
Dwyane Wade SG Marco Belinelli
Lebron James SF Trevor Ariza
Chris Bosh PF David West
Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Emeka Okafor
James Jones 6th Jarrett Jack
American Airlines Arena
7:30 PM EST
Sun Sports / 790 AM
Injury Report:
Heat: M. Miller (out 2-3 months), U. Haslem (out indefinitely)
Hornets: All is good, only searching for Marcus Thornton’s pulse