Game On: Heat @ Hornets

Published: March 29, 2013

The Hornets set out to give the Heat their first losing streak since the Heat dropped two consecutive games on January 8th and 10th to Indiana and Portland respectively. Chicago ended the Heat’s 27-game winning streak on Wednesday, playing a physical style of basketball that frustrated King James and the Heat. The Bulls outrebounded Miami 43-31 and actually outscored Miami in fast break points. If the Hornets want to send the sellout crowd home happy, they will have to do that, along with these three things:

1. Feed Lopez the Rock

I never thought I would have that as one of my keys to victory, but Miami is so small inside that Lopez could dominate the interior. You need look no further than Nikola Vucevic, who is averaging 23 points and 25 rebounds in his last two match-ups against Miami. Yeah, that’s right, I said averaging. Bottom line is that Miami makes marginal centers look like All-Stars, so getting the ball to Lopez early and often could open up other dimensions of our offense.

2. Hard Fouls on LeBron

Look, obviously the Bulls got under his skin a bit so why not take the same tactic. Nothing dirty – don’t try to injure the guy, but the Hornets have Aminu, Miller, Lance Thomas, and Xavier Henry to throw at James. So use their 24 fouls and punish LeBron if he wants to come into the paint.

3. Hold On

If there has been a pattern with Miami these past three or four weeks, it is that they tend to fall behind to non-playoff teams early and storm back in the second half. Just know that no lead is safe and the Hornets can’t play ‘not to lose’ in the second half. Pedal to the metal all night.

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