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GAME PREVIEW: Heat host Hornets

The Miami Heat are looking to close in on securing the #1 seed in the East when they host the Hornets.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

GAME STORY

The Miami Heat (51-28) are returning from an impressive three-game road trip that included three wins over quality East playoff teams. Now, they are inching closer to locking in the #1 seed in the East.

The Charlotte Hornets (40-38) have locked in a spot in the play-in tournament but are still battling to have the right seeding there. The Hornets are tied with the Nets, but hold the tie-breaker and sit in the 9th spot. They are 1 game back of the 8th seed. So they have a lot to play for as they wrap up their season and hope to give themselves a better chance of making the playoffs.

Charlotte lost by 30 points to the 76ers on Saturday. They have an extra day of rest on Miami, who will be without Kyle Lowry in this game. Jimmy Butler will return after missing the last game as well. The Heat are 12-2 when Max Strus starts for them and he has shifted the way the Heat are spacing the floor.

The Hornets are one of the top ball-moving teams in the NBA, averaging 27.8 APG which is 2nd in the NBA. That’s led by the constant pressure from LaMelo Ball, a first-time All-Star. The Heat will have to keep the Hornets out of transition. And they’ll have to do it likely without head coach Erik Spoelstra again.

The Heat are 3-0 against the Hornets this season.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
GAME DATE MATCHUP TIME TV
Game 1 Tuesday, May 17 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 2 Thursday, May 19 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 3 Saturday, May 21 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 4 Monday, May 23 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ABC
Game 5* Wednesday, May 25 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 6* Friday, May 27 Miami @ Boston 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game 7* Sunday, May 29 Boston @ Miami 8:30 p.m. ET ESPN
Game Details

INACTIVE/INJURIES

MIAMI:

  • Caleb Martin: questionable (calf)
  • Kyle Lowry: questionable (rest)
  • PJ Tucker: questionable (knee)
  • Gabe Vincent: out (toe)
  • Markieff Morris: questionable (hip
  • Dewayne Dedmon: questionable (ankle)

CHARLOTTE:

  • n/a

LINEUPS

Projected Starters

Celtics Position Heat
Celtics Position Heat
Marcus Smart PG Kyle Lowry
Jaylen Brown SG Max Strus
Jayson Tatum SF Jimmy Butler
Al Horford PF PJ Tucker
Robert Williams III C Bam Adebayo

ODDS

FiveThirtyEight gives the Heat an 77% chance to win the game.

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)

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