Tonight at 7PM, the Hornets will host the Miami Heat at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. It's the first of four games this season between the two teams, with a rematch in NC on January 21st and trips to the AAA in Miami on November 23rd and on April 7th. For the Heat, this represents a one-game road-trip, and starts a cycle of home-road matchups that will play out over their next 10 games. Charlotte will be playing in the first game of a two-game homestand, and will finish up on Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
The last time Miami played the Bobcats was in Game Four of the 2014 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 28th. The Heat, powered by 31 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and three steals from LeBron James, 17 points, eight boards, and three helpers from Chris Bosh, and 15 points from Dwyane Wade, defeated the shorthanded then-Bobcats 109-98. All-Star Al Jefferson was sidelined with a leg that simply would not let him play. The Bobcats were paced by Kemba Walker's 29 points, five rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals, Gary Neal came off the bench to add 16, and Josh McRoberts had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. * Box Score * Full Recap
They doesn't ever get old and we don't take these wins for granted. We're very pleased to get to the next round. The Bobcats put up a lot of fight throughout and this was a much closer series than the 4-0 outcome would indicate. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
Can we expect more of the same? Probably not. Miami's roster has endured a 60% turnover, with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Chris Andersen, and Udonis Haslem left over from last season's opening day roster. The Hornets, too, have changed more than just their name. Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams, Brian Roberts, and Jason Maxiell are all new to the team, and represent four of the 10 players to have logged minutes thus far for Charlotte.
Check out At the Hive for more on the Hornets.
Where2Watch: LEAGUE PASS, SportSouth, Sun Sports
Where2Listen: NBA Game Time Audio, WFNZ 610 AM, 104.3 The Ticket
All-Time Record: Miami is 53-35 all-time against the Hornets.
Miami Heat: 3-1, .750, on pace for 61-21. First in the Southeast Division, first in the Eastern Conference, tied for fourth in the NBA. Last Five: X-W-W-W-L. Playoff Odds: 78.5%
Charlotte Hornets: 1-3, .250, on pace for 21-61. Fourth in the Southeast Division, tied for 12th in the Eastern Conference, tied for 24th in the NBA. Last Five: X-W-L-L-L. Playoff Odds: 49.1%
Miami finally lost their 1,000th game last night, and now own a 1,087-1,000 all-time record. If Danny Granger makes an appearance, he will be the 212th player to have appeared for the Heat. If Haslem plays, he will join Dwyane Wade in the 12 seasons played club, and will likely also join him in the 20,000 minute club (he has 1,9987).
Norris Cole will tie Billy Thompson in 22nd with his 231st contest. He's also just 52 minutes short of 5,000. Chris Bosh is 103 short of 10,000 in a Heat uniform.
Udonis Haslem is just two field goals behind Rony Seikaly for fifth all-time, with 2,484. Mario Chalmers needs six more rebounds to tie Kevin Edwards in 20th, with his 1,081st.
Chris Bosh is in 18th place all-time with 260 steals, just behind Anthony Carter (261), and PJ Brown (262). Chalmers just moved into second all-time with his 667th, and trails only Dwyane Wade (1,267). Two more blocks for Haslem will put him in the top 10, tying John Salley with 233.
Dwyane Wade need two more blocks to reach 700 for his career. Bosh needs 74 rebounds to reach 7,000, and he'll play in his 800th regular season game tonight.
Jerry Stackhouse, who you might not remember playing for the Heat (seven games, 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists in 2010-11, turns 40 today.
The Heat will play in the first of a dozen games on the NBA's docket tonight. Also due up:
Orlando Magic vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7PM
Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics, 7:30PM
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets, 7:30PM
New York Knicks vs. Detroit PIstons, 7:30PM
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 8PM
Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards, 8PM
Atlanta Hawks vs. San Antonio Spurs, 8:30PM
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns, 9PM
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Utah Jazz, 9PM
Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings, 10PM
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors, 10:30PM
PG - Norris Cole
PF - Josh McRoberts
C - Chris Bosh
SF - Luol Deng
SG - Dwyane Wade
PG - Kemba Walker
PF - Marvin Williams
C - Al Jefferson
SF - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
SG - Lance Stephenson
* - starting lineups subject to change
Thanks for checking out the preview. Join us later for the gamethread soon before tipoff, the recap soon after the final buzzer, and all of your other breaking Miami Heat news.