Playoff Round 1 Game 5 CHA @ MIA Game Thread

With the series tied at 2-2, the Heat and the Hornets will dig deep to win the pivotal Game 5. Historically, 82% of Game 5 winners went on to win the 7-game series so both teams understand the importance of this game.

  • After 2 straight wins, the Hornets carried the momentum but the Heat had a strong 14-2 home record since the All-Star break.  One of those losses coming to Golden State. The other was against these same Hornets on March 17, the Heat blowing a 15-point lead in that one.
  • After the Heat players (Whiteside, Dragic, Johnson) tried the oldest trick of the book to publicly complain about the officiating giving calls to Jeremy Lin and Kemba, will they succeed to influence the officials to give favorable calls to the Heat?
  • Would the Hornets be able to bring their 3pt shooting tonight? Would the starters dig a big hole again in the first quarter? The Heat would love to build a big lead before Jeremy Lin checks in to break down their interior defense again.
  • Would the Hornets be able to dictate the tempo by having strong defense so they can have fastbreak and transition offense to get easy scores and 3s before the Heat defense is set? A faster pace would benefit the young Hornets team by wearing out the legs of the older players in the Heat (Wade, Johnson, Dieng)
  • Jeremy Lin seemed calmed and determined in the post-practice interview yesterday. He seemed to know how the Heat will try to guard him and his teammates. Let’s hope his quiet confidence permeates to all his teammates that they can win one on the road
  • Will Batum come back from injury to play tonight? Clifford says Nic Batum participated in shoot-around and will most likely play tonight. No one knows if he would still be slow after the ankle injury but if he’s healthy, he can open up the court for the Hornets.

Let’s go, JLin! Let’s hope and pray that JLin continues to be super-aggressive to attack the Heat inside and drain his midrange jumpers and 3s and helps the Hornets to play teamball to take the commanding lead 3-2

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