Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Danny

Hornets at HEAT Official Game Thread and Preview

Recommended Posts

670_heathornetspre_121208.jpg

(Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon)

The Miami HEAT host the New Orleans Hornets tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. Both the HEAT (12-5) and Hornets (5-13) are looking to end a two-game skids. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM; coverage starts at 7 PM on Sun Sports.

1. The Hornets are in town tonight, but with all due respect to them, does the opponent matter for this one?

Couper Moorhead: Only insofar as any opponent matters for anyone during this time of the season. For the most part, the HEAT -- and most other teams -- need only to be concerned with how they are playing, regardless of whether or not they are coming off a tough loss to the New York Knicks. That was a point many missed this week: it hasn't mattered who the HEAT have been losing to, only that they are playing at a level that has made them eminently beatable.

Danny Martinez: In terms of what the HEAT are looking for, no. Having lost two straight, the HEAT are looking to bounce back. It doesn’t matter that it’s the Hornets. They’re just next in line,

2. We've talked about fixing defensive issues in seemingly every preview, so let's go back to basics: What's the first step to getting the defense back on track?

Couper: Tough to boil this down to one thing, but Miami really needs to get back to its usual brand of aggressive pick-and-roll defense. They need their big men jumping out on ballhandlers, not taking a lateral step that guards can easily beat with an in-and-out dribble. They need guards fighting through screens and releasing those big men from their temporary assignment, not dying on screens and watching the play develop in front of them. It won't fix everything, but since pick-and-rolls begin many an offensive set, having energy at the point of attack might infuse the rest of the defense, particularly the help rotations, with a needed boost.

Danny: The first step to getting back is on track is communication. The HEAT have seen a little bit disconnected on that end of the floor when it comes to who’s helping when and where. It feels like everything starts with the point of attack pick-and-roll defense. Too often opposing guards have gotten easy penetration that has collapsed the defense. If the HEAT can communicate and work out the quick decisions on the floor, they’ll be on their way.

3. Austin Rivers made some nice plays down the stretch against Memphis last night, is he someone to key in on defensively?

Couper: Not until he proves he is better than a 30 percent shooter from the floor. He eventually will be, but he has to show the rest of the league he is someone worth gameplanning for -- and frankly, until a guy does that, there just isn't enough game tape to actually put together a gameplan for him. Rivers is incredibly quick with the ball, but that has to translate to better looks than it has so far.

Danny: Not really. His effective field goal percentage is 39.4 percent, which isn’t isn’t all that shocking for a rookie guard, but it’s far from “ key on” status. Rivers dominates the ball when he’s on the court, but he’s still figuring out where to go in the halfcourt. He’s learning about angles and space the hard way right now. Rivers isn’t someone to key on just yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got there soon.

4. Is Ryan Anderson one of the more underappreciated players in the league?

Couper: Anderson struggles with defense sometimes, but why am I talking about that -- he's great. Anderson is surely underappreciated, but so are stretch-fours as an NBA commodity. Even though the search might be misguided, take last week when everyone was looking for trade scenarios for the Lakers. Everyone wanted them to trade for a stretch-four, but nobody could come up with more than a few names. There just aren't many players of Anderson's ilk, and that makes him incredibly powerful.

Danny: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Ryan Anderson is an excellent basketball player who gets kind of forgotten because he was a late first round pick, has moved teams and was seen by some as only being good because of the presence of Dwight Howard. Couper and I have written about the importance of space many times here in The Inferno. Ryan Anderson is probably the best stretch-four in the game right now. He’s differentiated himself by being able to knock down the corner three, which is really his bread and butter. When they return from injury, Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon are going to love all of the room Anderson gives them to operate. He’s tremendously valuable and I’m glad he’s getting some attention.

5. What is the best-case scenario tonight?

Couper: The process gets back on track. It would be helpful simply as a mental exercise for the HEAT to get a double-digit win, but the point differential doesn't matter all that much as long as the defense begins to show signs of consistency. Percentages again might fall in favor of the New Orleans shooters, but as long as the HEAT hold up their end of the bargain, that's as good a start as you can ask for -- while in reality, the fixing of the defense isn't going to be completed overnight.

Danny: I think it’s pretty simple. The HEAT just want to see progress, mainly on the defensive end. It’s still December, so it’s important to remember that nothing needs to be perfect. I don’t expect a full 48 minutes like the second half of the Brooklyn Nets game. However, I think a return to basics, like shutting off the pick-and-roll at the point of attack, will have a really positive effect on the HEAT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We GOT THIS as long as D-Wade and Bron doing the Batman and Robin style of play.

Its not what we started, it's what we finished it in 48 min...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We should play our centers more often to help with post defense and definitely for rebounding. Jorts anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that this will not be close, with 2 straight losses we'll look to establish some kind of dominance at least. Also, judging by James words after the loss against the Knicks, I'm not worried. He'll fire up the rest of the team.

Oh, Anthony Davis is also out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

who cares if we play well and win by 20 or 30 points tonight against the hornets? we need to play well against the knicks, clippers, memphis, etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, If Wade has another one of those games...

Anyways, I do think we get back on track tonight. I just can't reconcile the fact that Wade is having 3-13 shooting nights as if that was something usual. It's Dwyane F**** WADE! Not Mario Chalmers, Terrell Harris, or Rashard Lewis, but the original franchise player (before Lebron came in of course).

He's losing his step so quickly that It's just sad to watch him at times. I believe in Wade, he's my favorite player, but I can't deny how quickly he's losing it. I just hope he can have a good night to shake off some of these fears I have about him. I mean let's be real: His stats are WAY down, he's missed more than a handful of open dunks this season, and I can barely remember the last time he actually beat his man 1-on-1. Everything he gets is coming off of the PNR. No more, no less.

I want to hide my worries, and I know Wade can have a great night here or there but they are few and far between now. He didn't really have a great year last regular season, and in the playoffs he made timely baskets but he still wasn't the Dwyane Wade I know. And this season it's been a disaster. Sorry if I got too much into this, and not enough into the actual game, maybe I should have written this in the Dwyane Wade section, but I really can't hide my frustration, and I hope Wade shuts me up. Please Wade, shut me up and play a good stretch of games. Please man, I still believe in you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope later after I come back they'll get promising results

but looking at the boxscore since I'm frustrated enough to watch the game

25-18 on Miami's homecourt

aaah fk it might as well probably have a long vacation from watching garbage and just watch other aired games for a change

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel proves how important defense is in winning games. Heat really need to get back their brand of defense soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When things are bad they are REALLY BAD, Wade hurting his ankle and Lebron going out of the game too, also Hornets are making their 3 point shots, smfh.

Are they coming back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT fell to the Philadelphia 76ers 119-95 Friday night at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The game was presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Bam Adebayo, Dion Waiters and James Johnson each scored 13 points apiece for Miami. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler
      The Miami HEAT face the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night at Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. The game is presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. The HEAT defeated the 76ers 125-98 in their last meeting on March 1. Tip-off is set for 8:30 PM. There will be no television coverage, but you can listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket.
      1: What was your main takeaway from the win over Washington?
      Couper Moorhead: With Goran Dragić, Dion Waiters and Hassan Whiteside all sitting out this was a nice showcase game for the team’s younger players. Most of Bam Adebayo’s 15 points came by simply making himself available for passes around the paint – he did have a nice post-up – but don’t discount that as other players doing all the work for him. It’s not easy learning where the spaces are and will be at the speed of the pro game and even though this was preseason we can at the very least take it as a hint that Adebayo might have a knack for this sort of thing.
      It was also a very fine evening for Justise Winslow, who set up Adebayo on a number of the aforementioned scores. Winslow’s playmaking has always been a strength but this season he appears to have tightened up his handle to the point that he’s breaking down defenses in the pick-and-roll better than ever. 
      And it must be said that Matt Williams Jr. is a pure shooter. 
      Joe Beguiristain: The young guys can flat out ball. While it was fun to see the Brothers Johnson take over in the third quarter, the night belonged to Jordan Mickey, Bam Adebayo, Matt Williams Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. Each one of those guys had their moments, with Mickey sealing the deal with a game-winning three. After the clutch shot, the whole bench mobbed the 23-year-old, which showed just how close the squad is.
      It also must be noted that Adebayo had his best outing of the preseason, as he wreaked havoc on both ends of the floor. Although his pick-and-roll dunks were fun, his improvement on shots from the block was more encouraging. On the flip side of the ball, he showed quick feet on switches and also played stout interior defense. We’ll see how the rookie follows that up on Friday against the 76ers.
      2: With just one game left in preseason, what is left to accomplish?
      Couper: Erik Spoelstra said that Dragić likely will sit out again, while Waiters and Whiteside could get some run. Usually once you get to the back end of preseason its more about continuing to let the younger guys get some minutes and take a couple more quick looks at lineups that maybe haven’t been tried as much before. In a sense, it’s much like Wednesday’s game was. Some coaches will do a dress rehearsal in the last game, at least in the first half, but without Dragić that won’t be possible.
      Joe: I believe the most important thing is to keep everybody healthy heading into the regular season. That seems to be the approach with Goran Dragić, as he’s officially out due to rest. That said, there are also a few guys out due to injury, including Okaro White (strained left shoulder) and Rodney McGruder (left tibia stress fracture).
      Long story short, there’s a good chance the young guys get some significant burn once more against Philadelphia. And with cut/send down day rapidly approaching, there’s no better time to see what you have than right now.
      3: What do you expect to happen in the next few days until the road opener in Orlando?
      Couper: This is always the tough part of preseason, when rosters need to be cut down before the real thing begins. But the HEAT run things a little differently as they have the Sioux Falls Skyforce coaching staff in Miami during this time of year helping at training camp, practices and games. Spoelstra has referred to this camp as a no-cut camp in the sense that most of the players will wind up with the Skyforce, so this way they’ll have spent weeks with their future coaching staff. So cuts will be made because that’s how official paperwork works, but those players won’t be leaving Miami’s system.
      After that, the team will have three days of practice and then we’re off. 
      Joe: Other than trimming down their roster, I expect the HEAT to continue to work in preparation for the grind that is the 82-game season. Luckily enough, Miami has a few days between its first game against the Magic and its home opener against the Pacers on Saturday, Oct. 21.
      With guys like Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson carrying over their sharp play from a year ago and newcomer Kelly Olynyk making a seamless transition, the HEAT should be ready to rock when the regular season begins. 

      Highlights:
      March 1 – 76ers at HEAT
      Feb. 11 – HEAT at 76ers
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT are 3-2 in the preseason, while the 76ers enter the contest at 1-3. Four players are averaging 10.0 points per game or more for Miami in the preseason. Rodney McGruder (left tibia stress fracture), Okaro White (strained left shoulder) and Goran Dragić (rest) are all out.  
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 95.6 (20) HEAT Defense: 97.6 (12) 76ers Offense: 95.8 (18) 76ers Defense: 100.6 (19)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Washington Wizards 117-115 Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game was presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Bam Adebayo led the way for the HEAT with 15 points. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT host the Washington Wizards Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game is presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Get your tickets now! The HEAT defeated the Wizards 110-102 in their last meeting on April 12. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM, and television coverage is on FOX Sports Sun. You can also listen to the action live on 790 The Ticket. 
      1: What stuck out to you the most about Monday’s win over Charlotte?
      Couper Moorhead: Aside from Josh Richardson continuing to look as good as ever and Dion Waiters having a complete game, with eight assists, as Goran Dragić again sat out, the best thing to see was Justise Winslow with the ball in his hands scoring the go-ahead basket in the final minutes of the game. The result, of course, doesn’t much matter, but with Winslow getting his first 5-on-5 action since last December it’s important to remember that the process can be slow when it comes to injuries. Even last season we saw how tough it was for Richardson, and now he’s wiping away all memory of how he looked when getting his legs back underneath him. Not only did Winslow score, he did it off a pick-and-roll with a mid-drive crossover and burst that’s as good example as any for how much he’s tightened up his handle in the offseason. There’s a lot of talent there, and every glimpse of it is a good step forward.
      Joe Beguiristain: The main thing that stuck out to me was that nearly every player on the roster contributed to the victory. While Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson continued to impress, guys like Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson had their best game of the preseason. In particular, Olynyk did a little bit of everything, as he scored 13 points, grabbed a team-high 12 boards, dished out four assists, blocked two shots and came away with two steals, one of which led to a jam for Richardson late in the contest.
      Although it’s just the preseason, it’s encouraging to see Olynyk fit in quite well with his new teammates. Of course, being a versatile big who can put the ball on the floor, set up his teammates and knock down the outside shot certainly helps matters.
      2: Four games in, do we have anything more than hints about what the lineups will be next week?
      Couper: Erik Spoelstra continues to note that he’s liked what he’s seen so far from the starting frontcourt of Hassan Whiteside and Kelly Olynyk – that pairing is a +8.8 per 100 posessions so far – so we might keep seeing it. On Monday Spoelstra staggered the two so Olynyk came out early and then returned in place of Whiteside, which meant the HEAT never truly went small with either James Johnson or Justise Winslow at the five.
      Goran Dragić has so far sat out both games that the frontcourt has been used, however, so it remains to be seen if he will simply take his spot with the starters and Richardson will return to the bench unit or if Dragić changes the complexion enough to warrant a double switch.
      Joe: Since things are always fluid with Erik Spoelstra, it’s tough to predict what lineups we’ll see on opening night against the Magic. However, Coach Spo has started Olynyk at power forward alongside Hassan Whiteside for two consecutive games now. After a slow start together on Saturday, the duo performed better on Monday. We’ll see if that continues as the preseason rolls along.
      Also of note with Olynyk starting is the return of The Brothers Johnson. After struggling a bit in the starting lineup early in the preseason, James Johnson looked razor sharp coming off the bench with Tyler Johnson. That said, it’s important to remember that these lineups and rotations may not carryover when the games count. Remember, James Johnson averaged 18.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game on 50.7 percent shooting in his five starts at the end of last year.
      It’ll be interesting to see how Spoelstra utilizes JJ once the regular season commences. 
      3: Does Miami need this test against the Wizards backcourt?
      Couper: Competition is always good, especially when you’re preparing for the regular season. Kemba Walker only wound up taking four shots and playing 16 minutes on Monday so every second against John Wall and Bradley Beal is a valuable one. Of course, those two played a combined 16 minutes themselves against Cleveland on Sunday. That’s preseason for you.
      That said, Washington is starting Otto Porter Jr. as the nominal four, so if Spoelstra sticks with Olynyk in the opening group that will be a nice opportunity to see how he handles defending a smaller, quicker player.
      Joe: Yes. With preseason being shorter than in years past, live action is certainly important. Like Coup stated above, both John Wall and Bradley Beal haven’t played much in the preseason, but they have produced in their limited time. If Wall is eased into things once again, we’ll likely see a decent amount of Tim Frazier. While the 26-year-old has been battling a left groin strain, he’s set to make his Wizards debut on Wednesday. Frazier averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 assists in 23.5 minutes per game for the Pelicans last season.

      Highlights:
      April 12 – Wizards at HEAT
      April 8 – HEAT at Wizards
      Game Notes:
      The HEAT are 2-2 in the preseason, while the Wizards enter the contest at 3-0. Miami has won five straight against Washington. Markieff Morris (recovery from sports hernia surgery) and Sheldon Mac (torn left Achilles) are out for the Wizards. Goran Dragić (rest) is out.   
      Efficiencies (Rank):
      HEAT Offense: 91.1 (27) HEAT Defense: 94.1 (11) Wizards Offense: 106.6 (7) Wizards Defense: 92.8 (8)
    • By Joe B.

      Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
      The Miami HEAT defeated the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game was presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson both led the way with 18 points apiece. Click here for the full recap on HEAT.com.