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Five Stars: Buzzed

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Miami dropped a nine-point road affair to the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

NBA: Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive where we dig into the box score of each Heat game and pick apart the numbers under the numbers. The top five players are the Five Stars, regardless of which team they player for. I used the GameScore metric, with a slight adjustment for plus/minus to rank the players. This article covers Miami’s nine-point loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

First Star

Nicolas Batum (CHA) 19.9

Batum played a game-high 36 minutes, with 16 points, a game-high 13 rebounds (three offensive), and a game-high tying eight helpers. He shots seven-for-17 from the field, missing all five of his three-pointers, making two-of-three from the stripe, and adding three steals, a blocked shot, and a plus-10 rating to close the night with an estimated PER of 19.9

We’re just really good. - Batum

Second Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 18.9

As always, the tough as nails TJ came off the bench for 27 minutes, and registered a game-best 25.2 PER. He scored 18 points on an eight-for-16 night, making two-of-six from outside and not getting any trips to the line. He had seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. He was playing with a sore hand and seemed to tweak a hamstring, but no matter. Minutes later, he could be seen wrestling a rebound away from seven footer Cody Zeller (while Hassan Whiteside was standing and watching from three feet away). It was Johnson’s 12th time in the Five Stars, just two behind second place Goran Dragic.

Third Star

Kemba Walker (CHA) 18.1

Walker matched Batum’s 36 minutes, and led the Hornets with a game-best 22 points on eight-of-20 shooting. He made four-of-10 shots from two-point and three-point range, sinking both of his free throws and pulling down seven boards. He also had four assists, a steal, a game-best plus-12 rating, and a 18.1 estimated PER.

Fourth Star

Josh Richardson (MIA) 13.5

JRich makes the Five Stars for the fourth time, and the second time in a row for Miami by scoring a team-high 20 points in 33 minutes. He made eight-of-14 overall and three-for-five from deep, with four rebounds and two assists. He made his only foul shot attempt, and registered a steal, a block, a minus-10 rating, and a 14.7 estimated PER.

Fifth Star

Cody Zeller (CHA)

Zeller had a 12.4 estimated PER starting at center for the Hornets. He made three-for-four shots from the floor and three-of-six from the line for a total of nine points, with seven rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block, a game-best-tying plus-12 rating in 33 minutes on the floor.

Nightly Notable

Miami nearly doubled Charlotte’s success from long-distance, hitting 10-for-28 (35.7%) to just five-for-26 (19.2%) for the Hornets. Unfortunately, the Heat gave it back in the form of costly turnovers, with 16 to just eight for Charlotte.

We just weren’t coherent, didn’t get organized, and made some sloppy turnovers and we paid the price for it. - Miami coach Erik Spoelstra

Thursday’s Worst

Hassan Whiteside (1.7), James Johnson (0.2), Goran Dragic (-3.0) and Justise Winslow (-6.7) combined for 20 points on eight-for-34 shooting over 111 minutes, with 14 turnovers, 10 fouls, and a minus-42 cumulative rating. It’s hard to compete with anyone when half of the team contributes nearly nothing on offense.

The ball wasn’t going for me but I tried to defend, rebound, and make plays for other guys. When your shot’s not falling, you try to still make an impact on the game. - Winslow

Season Standings

Hassan Whiteside 158
Goran Dragic 85
Tyler Johnson 74
Dion Waiters 34
James Johnson 29
Josh Richardson 21
Justise Winslow 16