It is not 2014 and this is not the same Miami Heat team.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
This year’s Heat squad cruised to a lopsided, blow-out victory over the Charlotte Hornets in their series opener on Sunday and now Miami is look to take a commanding two-game lead in the postseason tilt. Oh, and for good measure, the victory would be the Heat’s sixth straight playoff win over Charlotte.
Keep reading for a breakdown of the matchup, including a look at the odds and live streaming options:
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
TV Channel: NBATV
Live Stream: NBATV
Odds: Miami -5 via OddsShark
Preview: The Charlotte Hornets need to bounce back. Badly.
Although, that’s always easier said than done when you opened up the postseason by losing 123-91 on the road. That’s the kind of loss that forces an entire team to reexamine their gameplan. That’s the kind of loss you use as motivation.
That’s exactly what the Hornets are doing.
“Whether you lose by 30 or one, it’s 1-0,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told NBA.com. “So we lost one game. But obviously, particularly up front, we just got manhandled. And if (Lou) Deng and (Hassan) Whiteside are going to combine for that kind of numbers, it’s going to be hard for us to win.”
Deng and Whiteside were nothing short of dominant for Miami in the opener, combining for 52 points, while Dwyane Wade chipped in 16 points as well. The Heat also posted a franchise postseason record for points and shot percentage in the win, shooting 57.6 percent from the field and going 9-of-18 from behind the arc.
For good measure, the Heat also led wire-to-wire.
Charlotte has now dropped 11 straight playoff games in a row, searching for its first victory since defeating the then-New Jersey Nets in Game 3 of the second round; in 2002.