Surging Heat Eye Fifth Win in Row
The Miami Heat go for a fifth straight win and at least a tie for the top record in the Eastern Conference when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night. Charlotte is currently ninth in the Eastern standings, but hold the tiebreaker over the Brooklyn Nets for a home game in the first play-in contest.
Miami is two games ahead of the Boston Celtics with three games to play for the top seed in the East, so a win would give the Heat at least a share of the best record in the conference. This one will be a battle of styles, so before you make a bet online on this contest, take a look at our in-depth preview of the game.
High-Octane Hornets Need to Play Defense
The Charlotte Hornets have one of the more exciting teams in the league, with young stars like LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges leading an offense that ranks fifth in the NBA with 114.8 points per game. The problem is, Charlotte needs to get better defensively if it wants to make any noise in the postseason, especially after allowing 144 points to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.
Ball runs the show in his second NBA season, averaging 19.9 points and a team-high 7.5 assists. Ball also paces the Hornets with 1.6 steals, but taking a chance at a steal can also lead to easy hoops for the opposition.
Bridges has also emerged as a box-score filler, leading Charlotte with 20.3 points per game while also contributing 7.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest. Bridges’ offensive game stretches out to the 3-point line, but he’s best when he’s driving the ball to the hole.
Another player who can get hot and carry the Hornets is guard Terry Rozier, who is averaging 19.3 points. Rozier connects on 37.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the 3-point line, but he is a streaky shooter and can hurt the Hornets when he goes cold.
Miami Rolling at Right Time
The Miami Heat continue to juggle their lineup as the regular season winds down, with forward Jimmy Butler among four players sitting out on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors due to injuries. Guard Kyle Lowry is questionable for Tuesday’s game due to soreness, but Miami continues to be successful no matter who takes the floor.
Butler is a key for the Heat and he could be back for this contest. The veteran is averaging 21.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists, and he sets the tone on both ends of the floor with his intensity.
With Butler out, Victor Oladipo got a chance at some extra playing time and he came through, finishing with 21 points, four assists and two steals in his best game of the season. Oladipo has played in just seven games this season, but he could be a big boost for Miami in the postseason.
Dipo was a problem last night for the Raptors pic.twitter.com/PkrZZQHbup
— X – Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 4, 2022
Center Bam Adebayo has been a steady performer for Miami, averaging 18.9 points and 10.2 rebounds. Adebayo may be in store for a big game against a smaller Charlotte front line, though he’s also very good at distributing the ball from the post.
Hornets vs Heat Head-to-Head
The Miami Heat have won their first three meetings of the season against the Charlotte Hornets, with only the latest of the matchups being less than a double-digit margin of victory. Visiting Miami edged Charlotte by four in double overtime in mid-February, but had no trouble winning the first two encounters.
Miami has won four in a row overall against Charlotte, though the Hornets won the previous three matchups. The Heat are hot right now and playing at home, so it stands to reason that the NBA lines are favoring them in this one.
Hornets vs Heat Game Information
- Game: Hornets (40-38) vs Heat (51-28)
- Location: FTX Arena
- Day/Time: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Streaming: NBA Game Pass
Hornets vs Heat Betting Lines
Hornets vs Heat Prediction
The Charlotte Hornets play well when they can get out and go, but Saturday’s 30-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers show that they’re not quite ready to battle the best of the East. Look for the Miami Heat to turn up the defensive intensity and come away with another easy victory over the Hornets.
When doing your NBA betting, take Miami to win and cover at home.