Game Preview: Heat @ Hornets – If we lose, we Suck

Matchup: Heat(8-28) @ Hornets(23-12)
Offensive Efficiency: Heat 99.6(23rd), Hornets 104.5(13th)
Defensive Efficiency: Heat 104.5(23rd), Hornets 100.5(5th)
Relevant Blogger: Crazy from the Heat

The Heat have fallen far from their championship, and there appears to be little end in sight.  Shaq is injured, out and slow, Alonzo Mourning is injured, out and slow, Jason Williams is injured and slow, and Dwayne Wade is injured though still fast.  They are having to play a backup(Chris Quinn) as starting point guard, and give significant minutes to Earl Barron – who is essentially Hilton Armstrong.  Oh, and Ricky Davis and Mark Blount play a lot.  The highlight of Ricky's career is his attempt to get a triple double by shooting at his own basket for the rebound, and the highlight of Mark's was playing decently for one season and being rewarded with a huge contract.  Other than that, they've been consistent losers. It's a bad bunch.

The Hornets are coming off their worst loss of the year.  They've had a few bad ones this year, and typically bounce back from them with a vengeance.  I expect this Heat team to be punished.

Positional Analysis
PG: Chris Quinn vs. Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Quinn reminds me a bit of Dan Dickau.  There's enough ugliness going on that his marginal talents seem great in comparison.  He shoots well in limited attempts, doesn't make a lot of turnovers.  That's about it.

SG: Dwayne Wade vs. Morris Peterson
Advantage: Heat
Freaking Dwayne Wade.  I still have flashbacks to him hitting shot after shot over our defense from the same spot on the floor.  A quick dribble from the three point line to slightly left of the circle, pull-up . . . money.  He did that over and over to us in the playoffs a few years ago, and did it again in a game two years ago.  Hopefully we'll have figured out how to defend that by now – or at least we can hope his slow-to-heal shoulder bothers him some.  Morris needs to find his shooting touch again.

SF: Ricky Davis vs. Peja Stojakovic
Advantage: Even
Ricky Davis is a flake who can score.  He plays lots of minutes, but is strictly average in output and doesn't defend well.  Peja is inconsistent.  Either he's going to smoke Ricky, or be smoked by Ricky.  Here's hoping the only smoking Ricky enjoys is his after-game joint.

PF: Udonis Haslem vs. David West
Advantage: Hornets
Poor Udonis.  He's tailor made to be a great defensive help guy who can compliment a strong inside presence.  But Shaq is out, and bad when he's in, and Mark Blount is as effective a low post scorer as Mookie Blaylock was.  West is bothered by guys with lots of height and long arms, and eats up anyone his own size.  Haslem is his own size.  Good.

C: Mark Blount vs. Tyson Chandler
Advantage: Hornets
Blount will hit some jumpshots, avoid rebounds, and let Tyson get to the rim for alley-oops whenever he wants to.  Tyson will hopefully feel embarassed by being dominated by Los Angeles and let loose on him.

Advantage: Not the Viewers
Both of these benches are so bad, it's impossible to pick one.  All I know is I'll keep a box of tissues nearby to wipe my face when my eyes start bleeding from the horror.  I guess we'll get to see Jason Williams and Bobby Jackson united.  Too bad that they are shadows of what they were when they played together in Sacramento.

Hornets win 102-83.

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