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GAME PREVIEW: Looking for a bounce-back game, Heat host Hornets at AA Arena

After 2 resounding loses, Miami returns home to right the ship against the 8-12 Hornets.

NBA: Miami Heat at New York Knicks Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat return home to host the Charlotte Hornets after an uneven road trip of two wins, followed by two non-competitive loses. With 21 games in the books, the Heat have a good idea of what needs to be done for the remaining 61 games of the regular season schedule.

Game Info

When: Friday, December 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

TV: Fox Sports Sun, NBALP

Radio: WAXY 790AM, WAQI 710AM (Spanish)

Win probability: FiveThirtyEight gives Miami a 60% chance to win.

Probable Starters

HEAT: Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Josh Richardson, Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo

HORNETS: Michael Carter-Williams, Nicholas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams, Dwight Howard

Injury Report

HEAT: Rodney McGruder (leg fracture), Okaro White (foot fracture), Hassan Whiteside(bone bruise)

HORNETS: Kemba Walker (shoulder), Jeremy Lamb (knee bursitis), Julyan Stone (out)

Scouting Report

How SBnation’s atthehive.com views the Heat,

“Miami has a weak offense.”

Ranked 26th in THE NBA on offense, teams take the night off defending Miami’s forwards,

“What the Heat are doing is giving at least one opposing forward practically a nightly free pass on defense. For some, that means saving their energy to score even more. For others, it allows them to freelance, double-team or create turnovers by playing the passing lanes.”

In their last five games Charlotte won 2 and lost 3 against tough teams: Toronto Raptors, L 126-113, San Antonio Spurs, L 106-86, Cleveland Cavaliers, L 100-99, Washington Wizards, W 129-124, Minnesota Timberwolves, W 118-102.

The Hornets definitely love their home cooking: 7-3 at home versus 1-9 on the road (only win against Grizzlies in Memphis, Oct. 30). They won all three games, at home, against their Southeast Division rivals.

Both teams are on losing streaks: Miami 2 in a row, and Charlotte 3 in a row (allowed 71 points in first half against Raptors).

Odd statistic from basketball-reference: the player with best Win-Share (WS) this season is Whiteside’s 1.8, which is the lowest ever in Miami’s 30-year history. Even the Heat teams which lost over 60 games had a better individual on them:

  • 1998, 15-67, G. Long, 4.6 WS
  • 1999, 18-64, S. Douglas, 4.4 WS
  • 2007, 15-67, D. Wade, 3.3 WS
  • 2017, 10-11, H. Whiteside, 1.8 WS

The first-quarter player report card is historically bad for Miami, as the players cruised through the first 21 games.