NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference First Round Game Two: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat

2016 NBA Playoffs
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Game #2
#6 Charlotte Hornets vs #3 Miami Heat
Heat Lead Best of Seven Series 1-0
Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 7:05 pm Eastern, TV: NBA TV
American Airlines Arena – Miami, Florida
Opening Line: Miami -5
Current Line: Miami -4 1/2
Opening Total: 203
Current Total: 198 1/2
Opening Money Line: Heat -205 / Hornets +175
Current Money Line: Heat -200 / Hornets +170

Miami looks to take a 2-0 series lead against Charlotte Wednesday.
Miami looks to take a 2-0 series lead against Charlotte Wednesday.

The Miami Heat routed the Charlotte Hornets 123-91 in game one of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Sunday in Miami. The two teams had identical 48-34 records in the regular season as the did the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics. Miami got the #3 seed in the playoffs via the tie-breaker and also won the Southeast Division. The Hornets look to rebound in game two before the series shifts to Charlotte for game three Saturday.

Charlotte is coached by Steve Clifford. Charlotte is 42-40-1 ATS and the total is 41-40-2 this season. Miami is coached by Eric Spoelstra. Miami is 44-38-1 ATS and the total is 35-47-1 this season.

In game one, Miami was a 4.5 point favorite and the total was 199. The Heat outscored the Hornets 41-22 in the first quarter and never looked back in a 32 point destruction. Miami shot 57% from the field and Charlotte shot 43% from the field.  Nicolas Batum had 24 points and Kemba Walker had 19 for the Hornets. Four Heat starters scored in double figures including a 31 point outburst from Luol Deng.

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Charlotte is outscoring teams 103-101 this season. The Hornets are #11 or better in both categories. Charlotte is shooting 43.9% from the field and 36.2% from three point range. The Hornets are #8 in three point shooting. Charlotte makes 79% of their free throws and are #5 in the league. Opponents are shooting 44.4% from the field and 34.9% from three point range. Charlotte averages 43.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 44.7 per game. The Hornets average 21.7 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 7.3 steals and 5.3 blocks per game.

Guard Kemba Walker averages 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He is probable with a knee injury.  Guard Nicholas Batum averages 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out for the season with a shoulder injury and played in only seven games this season. He averaged 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. Center Al Jefferson averages 12 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Guard Jeremy Lin averages 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Marvin Williams averages 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Courtney Lee, Jeremy Lamb, Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky will also get minutes in the rotation.

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Miami is outscoring teams 100-98 this season. The Heat are #23 in scoring but #5 in points allowed. Miami is shooting 47% from the field and 33.6% from three point range. Miami is #4 in field goal percentage. The Heat make 74.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.2% from the field and 34.7% from three point range. Miami averages 44.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 41.3 per game. Miami is #6 in rebounds allowed. The Heat average 20.8 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 6.5 blocks per game.

Forward Chris Bosh is out for the season with blood clots. He averaged 19.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. Dwyane Wade averages 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Hassan Whiteside averages 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Goran Dragic averages 14.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Joe Johnson averages 13.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Luol Deng averages 12.3 assists, 6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Gerald Green and Justise Winslow will also get time in the rotation. Udonis Haslem is probable with a foot injury. Tyler Johnson is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

Charlotte is 4-1 ATS in Wednesday games, after a straight up loss, and after a loss by 10 points or more, 2-6 against Southeast teams, 1-4 against teams with winning records, on two days rest, and against teams with winning home records, and 1-7 in first round games. The underdog is 5-2-1 ATS in this series recently. The over is 11-5 in this series recently and 9-0 in Miami between the teams.

Miami is 7-0 ATS at home, 6-0 against teams with losing road records, 6-1 in first round games, 7-2 against Southeast teams, 20-7 against Eastern Conference teams, 11-4 after a straight up win of 10 points or more, 8-3 on two days rest, 5-2 overall, 4-9 after a straight up win, and 0-4 in Wednesday games. The Heat are 15-7-1 ATS in the last 23 games against the Hornets.

Many thought the young Hornets had a legitimate shot of pulling off the upset in this series. They still might, but the Heat were very impressive in game one. Honestly, Charlotte shot 43% from the field and only had 11 turnovers. Those aren’t terrible number, but they have to be much better on defense. I think Miami wins but it will be much closer than game one.

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