Charlotte Hornets vs. Miami Heat Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 11th 2023

-

The Charlotte Hornets offense came in different doses in their most recent game, and it could be a good thing for a team searching for a formula that breeds consistency.

The Miami Heat need to find some order as well, hoping to get back on track Monday night against the host Hornets at Charlotte, N.C.

The Heat have lost five of their last seven games, including Friday night’s 111-99 loss to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.

“These are painful lessons,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Hornets had to like their balance when four players scored 20 or more points in a 119-116 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors on Friday night. That group was led by Gordon Hayward’s 24 points.

Charlotte shot a season-best 55.7 percent from the field.

“We hit some big shots,” Hayward said. “That settled us a little bit and we were able to get some stops to close the game. Just a gutsy win by us, happy that we got the win.”

The uptick in Charlotte’s offense appears to have multiple facets.

“I think the last maybe five or six games, our shot profile has gotten a lot better,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “Early in the year, we were scoring a ton in the paint, but we weren’t making 3s, nor were we shooting that many. Now we’re getting better balance.”

The Hornets’ intangibles might have been most important.

“To me, that was the most impressive thing,” Clifford said of what he described as a high level of resiliency.

Despite squandering a big lead, there were elements of defense that were encouraging for the Hornets. They allowed 22 first-quarter points, the fewest surrendered in an opening quarter this season.

Miami failed to reach the 100-point mark for the fifth time in its latest setback. The Heat haven’t won a game this season without scoring 100 or more.

Spoelstra has seen other signs of concern, such as surrendering 12 offensive rebounds to the Cavaliers. He said it might take heightened determination from his team.

“That’s the type of fortitude we have to develop as the season goes on, that’s what’s required in the playoffs,” Spoelstra said. “We have to get to that point. We’re working at it.”

Miami won last month at Charlotte, claiming a 111-105 decision behind Jimmy Butler’s 32 points. Since then, the Heat are 3-3 in road games.

For Butler, he has exceeded that 32-point level in four games in the past month, but he has been limited to 19 (at Toronto) and 16 (vs. Cleveland) in the last two games. His season scoring average slipped to 21.9 points per game, slightly behind teammate Bam Adebayo (22.3).

The Hornets don’t have a player in the NBA’s top 50 in scoring this season, other than injured guard LaMelo Ball (24.7), who has played in only 15 games.

Monday’s game is the first part of back-to-back games between the teams, with the rematch Wednesday night at Miami.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
About the Author
Scores And Stats
Click to Contact