GAME PREVIEW: Miami Heat look to extend 5 game win streak in Charlotte with in-season tournament placement on the line

The Miami Heat are heading into another road matchup against the 3-6 Charlotte Hornets. Miami is riding a 5 game win streak and now sports a 6-4 record, climbing from 15th to 3rd place in the Eastern Conference after opening the season at 1-4.

This game has in-season tournament credibility attached to it, as the Heat are fighting for the top seed for the newly integrated tournament.

The Heat are coming off 2 very solid wins in a back to back against first the Atlanta Hawks and then the San Antonio Spurs over the weekend.

In the Spurs game, Miami saw themselves go down by as many as 19 points in the first half just for Duncan Robinson to put on a shooting clinic and fuel the come back win.

Bam Adebayo continued his absolutely dominant run in the month of November with another 20+ point double double, to go along with stellar defense against rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama.

For all of last week where Miami went 4-0, Adebayo has averaged 25.5 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.7 BLKS and 2.0 STLS on 54% shooting.

It is looking like in year 7 of his excellent career and the age of 26, Adebayo is looking to make that All-Star caliber to All-NBA talent leap in his game.

Besides Adebayo, the role players have really been stepping up as of late too. Robinson has down a beautiful job stepping in for the injured Tyler Herro in the starting group.

Josh Richardson is finally getting into a bit of a rhythm, Jaime Jaquez Jr. continues to gain more trust with coach Spoelstra as a regular rotation piece, and the team has yet to lose a single game (5-0) since Haywood Highsmith has been inserted into the starting group.

Even Kevin Love has been getting seeing some bench minutes and being very productive, hitting timely 3 point shots and setting charges.

Kyle Lowry, who sat the last game for rest, is not on the injury report and is expected to be back in the lineup tonight.

Richardson is listed as probable with back soreness, and Caleb Martin and Herro remain out. However, a Martin return for the Heat could be very close.

The Hornets are going into tonight pretty banged up themselves. Key guys like Terry Roizer, Miles Bridges and Cody Martin, Caleb Martin’s twin brother, are all listed as out.

It will be important to not let Lamelo Ball get going offensively. Also to not lack off on Gordon Hayward, who has seemed to be pretty effective in Miami matchups still over the years.

Tonight’s game will tip off at 7:00 PM ET on Bally Sports Florida.

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Caleb Martin (knee) — OUT
  • Josh Richardson (back) — Probable
  • Tyler Herro (ankle) — OUT
  • Jamal Cain (g league) — OUT
  • RJ Hampton (g league) — OUT

Charlotte Hornets:

  • Gordon Hayward (hamstring) — Probable
  • Brandon Miller (ankle) — Probable
  • Cody Martin (knee) — OUT
  • Terry Roizer (groin) — OUT
  • Miles Bridges (suspension) — OUT
  • Frank Ntilikina (tibia) — OUT
  • James Bouknight (knee) — OUT

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Haywood Highsmith, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Charlotte Hornets:

  • Lamelo Ball, G
  • Gordon Hayward, G/F
  • Brandon Miller, F
  • PJ Washington, F
  • Mark Williams, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 7:00 PM EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun (Eric Reid, John Crotty)
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (José Pañeda)

Come back to Hot Hot Hoops at game time to join our GameThread and chat about the game live with other Heat fans!

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any idea when will Caleb be back? we can use another wing in the rotation


I thought Heat has 2 days rest. My bad. Go Heat!


This team is deep enough to have a rotation that varies, depending on the opponent. Spo is getting the opportunity to see more players get quality minutes than if Herro and Martin were healthy. This is a good thing.

Although players such as Love, Bryant, JRich, Jovic and ORob may not play every game, they are ready to fill in whenever they are called upon. Once Cain, Hampton and Swider get a chance to show what they have down in G League, they may also see time with the Heat.

Overall, things are looking very good. I still think the team could use another PG, even if not an all star caliber player. TJ McConnell, Alex Caruso, Monte Morris, Killian Hayes, Andrew Nembhard, Marcus Sasser or someone else who won’t cost Miami an arm and a leg could help if Lowry, Smith and JRich are not getting the job done. Meanwhile, let’s all enjoy the ride!



Yeah things that are happening now are getting stored in Spo’s memory bank come playoff time where game to game adjustments are the difference.


When Martin and Herro come back, the team will be pretty competitive, and not just against the weaker teams.
Things are working out better than many of us thought. There is the good, like contributions from HH, and don’t let one unproductive game get you down. Same with Bryant, I hope we aren’t turning on him like Dedmon. Give the guy his minutes, he helps more than hurts. Have to admit the same is true of my previously thought weakest link, Kevin Love. Coming off the bench suits him and is his best usage, as he is now helping more than hurting in this his proper role. And JRich was looked at negatively at first but now he has surely showed his value. And Kyle, he still has a little game left and when rested, can definitely contribute. And, maybe we have a little extra help with Dru, I don’t mind it when he’s in there. Maybe it will become more.
Then there is the doing really good- Jimmy is coasting, but the coasting is getting better. Tyler had upped his game and is doing well, we can really use his offense. Jaquez is looking more and more like he has a solid future. He always seems to make the right play, and he is especially good at steals. Martin will definitely help us immensely when he returns. Only question is, will we ever see the game 7 dominant Martin again, and we may. Duncan is definitely a better, less one trick pony, offensive threat. He definitely is now on the side of helping more than he hurts. And Bam, right now Bam is our one superstar, and that’s just what he’s,become, although Jimmy will turn it on when necessary. All in all, no players that hurt more than help, and better defense overall, which is our calling card. We get five extra wins a year by defense alone. We win so many of our close games because of it.
And yet, even though we will have a good team when we get healthy, I think we can compete, but it’s gonna be a dogfight. And one more talented player would still help.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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