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NBA: Hornets Vs. Heat Preview

NBA: Hornets Vs. Heat Preview

After a very encouraging performance Saturday, the Charlotte Hornets look to even out their series with the Miami Heat Monday at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

Look for Hornets coach Steve Clifford to continue using a big line-up in game four, a line-up that gave the Heat trouble in game three.

Kemba Walker, Courtney Lee, Marvin Williams, Al Jefferson and unlikely hero Frank Kaminski started Saturday for the Hornets.

7-foot rookie, Kaminski attempted only one shot in the first two games of the series. Starting in game three and taking advantage of the smaller Luol Deng, Kaminski finished with 15 points and six rebounds.

Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson rounded out the Hornets front-court with a combined 22 points and 22 rebounds.

If the Hornets dominance inside the paint continues, look for more minutes from Amare Stoudemire and Josh McRoberts off the Heat bench to match up with the Hornets added size.

Charlotte’s success Saturday was even more encouraging considering an off shooting night from star Kemba Walker. Shooting 4-19, Walker’s poor offensive play was picked-up with help from reserve Jeremy Lin who scored 18 points on 7-16 shooting.

If Walker can play up to his usual standard, with another positive scoring contribution from Lin off the bench, the Hornets may leave Time Warner Cable Arena with a tied series.

On the Heat side of the ball, it is difficult to tell if the Heat outplayed Charlotte in the first two games or simply outshot them.

Shooting an insane 57.8% in the first two games, Miami cooled to 34.2% in game three. Combine this with 11 missed free-throws and 15 turnovers, and the Heat only finished with 80 points.

With Charlotte expecting to play a bigger, slower line-up, expect Miami to settle in to their surroundings for their second straight away game and attack the basket in transition with Goran Dragic, Dwayne Wade and Justice Winslow. Scoring easy baskets in transition will lead to open trail threes for the Heat and a much better flow on offense in game four. Opening up the three-point line will also give more space for Hassan Whiteside to attack the much less athletic Al Jefferson in the paint.

Game four looks to be a much more competitive game with the possibility of the Heat bouncing back from a terrible shooting day and getting a better idea of how to handle Charlotte’s size.

Nicholas Batum is questionable for game four.

Tip-off of game four is 7:00 p.m. eastern time.

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