The Heat and the Hornets will square off in Miami on Wednesdey night / Thursday morning (European time), in a very important game counting for the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Miami (30-34, 16-14 home) has been absolutely brilliant since the start of the new year. The Heat seemed like a lottery team after a poor start, but they really turned things around and are now just 1 and a half game behind the last playoff spot in the East. Miami has been the most in form team in the NBA lately, winning an incredible 19 games from the last 23.
Charlotte (28-35, 11-22 away) is in an almost opposite situation to the Heat. The Hornets seemed like a lock to make the playoffs earlier in the season, but they went through a really bad slump at the start of 2017 and are now pretty far away behind. They still have their chances though, especially since Charlotte started to pick up the slack lately, winning 2 games in a row.Bet on Miami vs. Charlotte and claim your 100% (100 Eur) freebet at Ohmbet now!
Team news: Miami will probably miss starter Babbit, but he`s not a big loss. Top reserves Tyler Johnson and James Johnson could return from injuries tonight for the Heat (at least one of them should), which would be an important plus. As for Charlotte, they will likely continue to miss Kaminsky, Plumlee and Sessions.
Miami is really playing some good basketball right now, morale is high and will be even higher after Miami beat reigning champs Cleveland twice in a row in the last two matches – including a fantastic win in Cleveland, over Lebron and Kyrie, two days ago.
Charlotte does seem like they are finding some of their rhythm, but they are still not where they need to be – and even at their best, they were never that good on the road, as their 11-22 record evidently suggests.
I expect Goran Dragic to keep Charlotte`s top man Kemba Walker relatively in check, while Whiteside should dominate down low for Miami – especially with Charlotte missing two bigs. Charlotte’s big guys have got into foul trouble lately and right now they have no depth at that position, so a top center like Whiteside should be able to exploit that.
Miami is the better team right now and they should be able to win this game at home. The clash will have a playoff – like feeling, the crowd will be pumped up and home court advantage will be a very important edge for Miami in case the game is close in the 4th quarter.
My tip is the Heat to win, I`m satisfied to bet on the straight victory at these odds as opposed to picking a handicap – though I do expect the Heat to cover. Prediction: Miami Heat – Charlotte Hornets 112 – 105.