Takeaways From The Miami Heat’s Victory Against The Charlotte Hornets – Sports Illustrated

The Heat won their second straight game against the Hornets Saturday

The Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets meet for the second straight time at the FTX Arena, an arena which is most likely soon to have its name changed.

Here are some major takeaways from the game.

-The Heat came into this game with a lot of energy. Instead of taking a lot of catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which they are starting to become known for, they took more drives to the basket and played with physicality. They even got off a lot of dunks, particularly in the first half.

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-One of the main differences from the game just two nights ago was LaMelo Ball. Ball, who missed the first 13 games with an ankle injury, was back in action. And he sure didn’t seem to miss a beat. He finished with 15 points but his shooting accuracy wasn’t quite there. He shot just 35 percent from the field and only connected on one of his nine 3-pointers attempted. It was very unusual for Ball, who was a knockdown shooter in his previous two years in the NBA.

-The Heat never got comfortable after gaining their huge lead in the second half. They knew the Hornets had what it took to fight back and stay resilient. After all, the Heat had to go into an extra period in the previous game just to be the Hornets who were without Ball. This time, they didn’t let that happen. Erik Spoelsta kept most of his starters in the game throughout half of the fourth quarter.

-Heat rookies Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain were also able to see some action. Although they came into the game late and played just one minute each, they were able to get some points in. Both of them had a 3-pointer each to seal the game for good. With more blowout games by the Heat, the newcomers might be able to rack up more minutes.

-Another game without Tyler Herro meant Max Strus got to shine more. This time, he took full advantage. He scored a season-high 31, just one shy of his career-high. He also hit eight 3-pointers, also one short of his career-high. This is a great sign for the Heat. Once Herro returns from injury, Strus can be a reliable backup when Herro is having an off-night. Strus earned that respect.

Cory Nelson is a contributor to Inside The Heat. He attended Northern Virginia Community College. He can be reached at corymckenzienelson@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @CKenzyNelson. You can also check out his personal blog https://allball30.wordpress.com