Charlotte Hornets

Hornets Gameday: at Miami Heat

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, a Gastonia native, should have an interesting matchup with the Charlotte Hornets’ Roy Hibbert.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, a Gastonia native, should have an interesting matchup with the Charlotte Hornets’ Roy Hibbert. AP

8 p.m., American Airlines Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast Radio: WFNZ-AM 610.

Projected Starters

Hornets

Heat

Pos, Player

PPG

RPG

Pos, Player

PPG

RPG

G K. Walker

17

2

G G. Dragic

16

6

G N. Batum

9

6

G D. Waiters

9

6

F M. Kidd-Gilchrist

23

14

F J. Winslow

15

8

F M. Williams

13

10

F L. Babbitt

8

1

C R. Hibbert

15

9

C H. Whiteside

18

14

Matchup to Watch

Hassan Whiteside vs. Roy Hibbert: Whiteside’s interior defense was a huge factor in the Heat prevailing in the seven-game first-round playoff series against the Hornets last spring. Hibbert was brought in to provide a rim-protector to Charlotte.

Observations

▪  The Heat, like the Hornets, lost some major pieces to free agency. Dwyane Wade is now a Chicago Bull and Luol Deng is a Los Angeles Laker.

▪  Heat big man Josh McRoberts, who previously played for the Bobcats, has finally returned to full health after constant leg injuries.

Tap-ins

▪  The Hornets got a surprisingly strong game in Milwaukee Wednesday from center Cody Zeller, considering Zeller missed all seven preseason exhibitions with a knee bruise. Zeller finished with 15 points and three rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.

▪  The Heat has won 12 of the last 13 meetings with the Hornets in Miami.

Did you know?

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has 400 career NBA coaching victories. Only Pat Riley has more among current or past Heat coaches.

Rick Bonnell

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