The Miami Heat fell to the Charlotte Hornets in a game where they had trouble on defense. The Heat did not have trouble in the beginning of the game, but they began to slow down in the second half of the game and let the Hornets get back and win the game. The Heat will need to play hard for a full 48 minutes in order to win these types of games.
The Hornets kept grinding and wearing out the Heat on defense and that is why the Heat lost on their home floor. Containing Kemba Walker is hard for most teams and the talented guard showed that last night.
Walker had a great game yesterday and he was shooting from all over the floor. He went 2-5 from three-point range yesterday, but the long ball was only part of his game plan. He went to the free throw line a few times and went 8-9. Free throws are important and Walker capitalized on his opportunities during the game.
Walker would be hard to guard when he got in the paint and around the basket, and would finish the game with 24 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Nicolas Batum would be the only other starter in double figures with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
The Hornets were active on defense against the Heat and they racked up 10 steals on the night, 7 of which came from the starting 5 players. The Hornets forced 19 Heat turnovers and that is a big contributor to why the Heat lost that game when they had a lead in the first half.
The bench production from the Hornets was also a reason why they had such a good game. Four players on the Hornets bench where in double figures in scoring, while the Heat only had one player off the bench with 12 points in Tyler Johnson.
The Heat starters had a good game. A player that struggled for the Heat last night was Luke Babbit a new addition to the Heat who played for the New Orleans Pelicans last season. Babbit would finish the game with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes of action. A bright spot for the Heat last night was their center Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside had another big game as he notched another double double with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Whiteside is one of the players the Heat will have to utilize often to keep themselves in close games. Whiteside is showing improvement in the free throw department making 4-7 against the Hornets.
The Heat have to work on their turnovers and learn how to handle the ball better. They also have to keep their opponents off the free throw line. 20 of the Hornets 97 points came from free throws.
Those are the two areas in the game where they had trouble and ultimately let the game slip away. The Heat also need to get their other players involved in the game. They have a player in Whiteside who is a double double machine, but if they can get a player like Dion Waiters more involved they will be able score more.