3-on-3: Previewing Hornets @ Heat

Published: January 30, 2012

The immortal Tom Haberstroh from The Heat Index joins us in breaking down tonight’s matchup between the Hornets and the Heat.

Also, don’t forget about our live chat tonight. We’ll be hosting trivia and giving away prizes as well.

The Hornets will look to Emeka Okafor to do damage down low against Miami's less than stellar centers.

1. Which matchup most favors the Heat?

Tom Haberstroh (The Heat Index on ESPN): I usually default here with LeBron James, but the Heat will be circling the Chris Bosh vs. Jason Smith matchup. Smith can move fairly well, but expect Bosh to try to pick him apart off the dribble and mix in some 18-footers. Bosh is a foul-drawing machine so look for him to attack the Hornets’ paper-thin front-line early and often.

Michael McNamara: Dwayne Wade will be covered by some combination of Marco Belinelli, Grevis Vasquez, and Xavier Henry tonight. I know D. Wade has struggled a bit since returning from injury, but that is still a monumental mismatch that the Heat should look to exploit all night.

Joe Gerrity: Dwayne Wade is going to torch the Hornets back court, and there’s little that anyone will be able to do to stop him. As Michael mentioned, Wade has struggled since returning from injury, but there are few better opportunities to go off than against the Hornets back court.

2. Which matchup most favors the Hornets?

Tom Haberstroh: This one’s easy: Emeka Okafor vs. Joel Anthony. Although Okafor won’t be Dream Shaking his way to the rim every time down the floor, he will out-muscle Anthony for boards and have his way with physicality. The Heat could look to use Eddy Curry more than they have in recent games, but the back-to-back might cause Spoelstra to be hesitant on the trigger.

Michael: Last time the Heat came to New Orleans, Emeka Okafor completely dominated Joel Anthony, going for 26 (on 12-13 shooting) and 13 in a 95-93 Hornets victory. For the Hornets to have any chance tonight, Okafor has to be that dominant once again.

Joe: Who am I to disagree with the consensus? Okafor over Anthony and Curry it is!

3. Care to make some predictions about the game?

Tom Haberstroh: There will be ugly. Both teams will be playing the second game of a back-to-back and the Hornets offense is ugly as it is, especially with Eric Gordon looking naturally sad on the sideline. The Hornets rank in the bottom of the league in both shooting (eFG%) and turnover rate so if there was going to be a “lockout” game, this is it.

Michael: The Hornets are absolutely embarrassed after a lackluster effort last night against the Hawks, while the Heat are coming down off an emotional high from beating the Bulls. Because of that, I anticipate this game will be a lot closer than most might expect. Heat pull away late; 91-84.

Joe: I’d expect the Hornets to play a more competitive game than I would have if they’d beaten the Hawks, or at the bare minimum played like an NBA team. I think they rally from the poor performance last night and give the Heat a run for their money. It unfortunately won’t be enough.



  1. bee dat

    January 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    paper thin front line? I know we’re minus kaman but that’s downright disrespectful. Even with wade and lebron’s help, I can’t see how these guys outrebound us tonight. Chris bosh’s first step might be a little quick for jsmith, but if haberstroh new anything about the hornets, he’d know that j sits quickly and bosh’s primary matchup will be against carl, then gustavo and god forbid, some trevor and aminu. I think gustavo has a decent chance to stay in front of bosh and give him trouble, as can carl if he’s commited to playing d tonight

    again if this guy knew the hornets at all there’s a certain matchup that’s a little more promising, top 2 shooting guard vs. bottom two shooting guard. duh.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      When I see things from seemingly smart people that seem insane to me, I do two things.

      First, I check myself. Do they have a point? If so, the second thing is learn. If not, the second thing is count my lucky stars.

  2. hkc

    January 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    the heat are gonna rip us apart tonight. we’ve been turning the ball over, and they feast on turnovers. additionally, we give up three point shots at a high rate (see hawks game), and they have some guys that can knock down that shot. i expect us to be out of it mid way through the second. i do not understand how marco is still starting for us at the 2. how much worse could henry do? he’s hardly seen the floor, but has done more than marco could possible hope to do. the guy looks to attack the basket..thats what we freaking need!! im so tired of seeing belly come off a down screen, pull that stupid pump fake, half ass attack the rim, then just pass out again. he is a spot up shooter, nothing else. vasquez, henry, ariza, smith/landry/ayon, and okafor/smith in my opinion are our best lineups. jack has been playing great offensively, yet he consistently fails to deliver the ball to the open man. vasquez is different in that respect.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I’m dreading the break…

    • SKIELE

      January 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      the reason why marco is still in the lineup is because he’s the only perimeter shooter of the team that gives some spacing to the big men and jack to drive or post up. he need to stay on the perimeter and shoot when open, the only problem is that jack is unable to pass the ball and belinelli is forced to take a lot of forced shots with the clock at 2 sec. I dont want to defend marco, he’s playing bad, just to answer your points

      • James Online

        January 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        Finally someone who understands this besides me.

      • Hoc

        January 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        I’m sorry, from the few games and sparse minutes Henry has gotten, it is obvious who the better player is. Dude can actually attack the basket. And he can’t space the floor as well as Marco? I think you’re wrong there.

        Also, jack must go. This team will not succeed with him. And I agree with another poster, this team has to run and be more flee flowing on offense. The offense from the bench looks better than the starters. Why is that? Simple. Vasquez.

  3. James Online

    January 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Monty is doing a poor job of coaching right now, let’s face it. Disrespecting players, Landry especially, and the odd Kaman release (because of lack of playing time) stand out. Trusting Jarett Jack as a winning point guard is a massive mistake.

    Moreover, the stuck-in-the-mud offense doesn’t work without Chris Paul. Get the team running and create more open looks for Marco and the other perimeter players. More fun to play, more fun to watch, and what’s going on right now is NOT working.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Kaman is being traded away and that is causing the lack of playing time; there is nothing to be gained by playing him that outweighs finding out if these other players will develop, and into what if so, in the mind of the staff.

      The need for assets is the horse, and is pulling the cart of the trade, time to develop the other players, etc.

      The rest of it is much less objectively discussed.

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