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GAME PREVIEW: Heat visit Hornets

The Miami Heat play their last game before the All-Star break in Charlotte against the Hornets.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (37-21) are will be short-handed again as they visit the Charlotte Hornets (29-30) in their final game before the All-Star break.

I think we can all agree this is a must-win because sitting on a two-game losing streak and relinquishing the East lead with an entire week off seems unbearable. But the Heat will have to do it without Tyler Herro, a 20 PPG scorer who is being held out with precaution for his knee.

The Hornets have lost 8 of their last 9 games, including a 104-86 defeat to the Heat on February 5. In that game, the Heat used a 35-8 third quarter to create separation from the Hornets. And Charlotte hasn’t been the same. They’ve dropped below .500 and are also desperate to get back on track.

Miami will need some extra contributions from Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Duncan Robinson in this game. The Hornets will be boosted by Kelly Oubre Jr. off the bench and Miami will need some type of second unit spurt to keep this from becoming a dog fight. Without Dedmon, we will see more Omer Yurtseven, who is doing well offensively but can become a PnR liability if LaMelo Ball wants to do so.

Charlotte is the second highest-scoring team in the NBA and a top-3 team in ball movement. The Heat’s defense will be on a test.

If the Heat can avoid a terrible 3-point shooting half as they did against Dallas, they should be in good shape even with the players available.

ODDS: FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat a 57% chance to win the game.

HEAT VS HORNETS: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17 AT 7:00 PM

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Victor Oladipo: out (knee; surgery rehab)
  • Tyler Herro: out (knee contusion)
  • Caleb Martin: questionable (achillies)
  • Markieff Morris: out (neck)
  • Jimmy Butler: questionable (shoulder strain)
  • Dewayne Dedmon: out (personal reasons)
  • Udonis Haslem: questionable (eye poke)

CHARLOTTE:

  • Gordon Hayward: out (ankle)
  • Cody Martin: out (ankle)
  • Jalen McDaniels: out (ankle)

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Gabe Vincent
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Grant Williams SF Jimmy Butler
Jayson Tatum PF PJ Tucker
Al Horford C Bam Adebayo

BROADCAST INFO

TV: Bally Sports Sun, NBA League Pass
RADIO: The Ticket 790AM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson, Ruth Riley Hunter)
SPANISH RADIO: WAQI 710AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda, Joe Pujala)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!