Game On: Hornets @ Heat

Published: January 30, 2012

The Hornets take their talents to South Beach and hope to pull off the upset.

Plus, join us for a live in-game chat and trivia contest.

The Heat haven’t been unstoppable this season as they’ve had to manage around injuries to both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.  Over their last 10, six of which have been without Wade, they’ve only won six games.  Unfortunately, the Hornets are drawing the Heat with Wade back in the lineup and fresh off a strong performance against the defenseless Knicks.

Even without Wade, the Heat offense has been hard to contain this year, with the team posting the third most efficient offense in the league.  It’ll be interesting to see who Ariza draws as his defensive assignment.  It may be wise to play a lot of the game with Ariza chasing Wade, while Landry and Aminu get turns checking James to put a little more strength on the Heat small Forward.   For the first time, LeBron has decided his overwhelming strength and speed would work well in the post, and he’s been drawing fouls like crazy overpowering the small forwards sent to guard him.  Ariza is skilled, but he’s better using his length disrupting pick and rolls and chasing players across screens.  As a post defender, he’s much less able.  Thus, give him Wade, who has struggled this year and could be taken out of the game.

Still, even if you account for the two big wing players, the Heat have a lot of offensive weapons to throw at you.  Mario Chalmers and Mike Miller have both shot well, knocking down all those open shots on the perimeter generated by Wade and James  – both of whom average more than 5 assists.  The much-maligned Bosh has also gotten back to his efficient self, generating 21 points a game and scoring 1.37 points per shot.  The only Hornet better than that is Gustavo Ayon and his 2.6 shots a game.

Scarily, the Heat’s strengths are posed to prey on the Hornets two greatest weaknesses.   The heat draw the most free throws per shot in the league – and crush people in fast breaks off turnovers.  The Hornets are foul- and turnover-prone.  Happily, the Heat do have one weakness:  They aren’t a great team on the boards, and the Hornets are terrific there.

So the three Hornets keys to victory:

  1. Limit turnovers and fast break points by the ultra-athletic Heat.
  2. Crush them on the boards.  Get offensive rebounds and extra shots to make up for your own lack of offensive efficiency.
  3. Arms up, move your feat, and try not to foul.

Enjoy the game.



  1. JT's Hoops Blog

    January 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Gotta a question that’s off topic: Can u tell me why the Hornets have essentialy banished Chris Kaman? He’s esseentially not playing because the hornets are trying to trade him. How stupid is that? Kaman is probably the post post player on your team. Not only that, but he’s on the last year of his contract so he is worth more to keep until the end of the season. And let’s be honest: NOLA is not considered a prized destination for free agents. they would need a player of Kaman’s calibre because the Hornets cannot attract anyone else.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      There is a topic for this a few entries down, but I think you answered your own question.

      Let’s assume he’s the best post player we have and bookend that with his expiring deal. If we can’t keep him, why not trade him to a team who will want such a player for use now or to re0up in exchange for some goodies that aren’t as free to walk?

      Same logic as Chris Paul thing, right?

  2. SP

    January 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    JT if you’ve read any articles on the Kaman situation he’s being traded. Hornets management and Kaman made a decision to go in a different direction, and rather than let that contract run out, they decided they want some assets (picks, young players) as opposed to the extra cap room for next season. As you mentioned, NOLA isn’t a hot spot for free agents, so wouldn’t it make sense to bring some picks and young players on board in exchange for an expiring contract, which we won’t be able to put to good use in free agency anyway?

    A short answer to your initial question:

    Kaman isn’t playing because they want to trade him, if he gets injured while they are trying to trade him, they won’t be able to trade him anymore.

  3. J

    January 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Hornets looking good tonight Henry and Ayon needs to play more.

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