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The Heat Are On Fire... And In New Orleans. What Could Go Wrong?

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/27/2013 5:49:47 PM

The Miami Heat look to possibly extend their winning streak to 29 games if they can get by Chicago on Wednesday night. Can the New Orleans Hornets take them down?

Miami Heat @ New Orleans Hornets – Friday, March 29

Online sports betting legal line: No line

Why Miami Will Win

The high-stakes poker games that take place on a nightly basis in the NBA require the ability to play with almost robot-like consistency. It's safe to say that the Heat have been historically consistent since Feb. 1, because they haven't lost a game since that evening (against Indiana). LeBron James and the Heat have clearly taken this streak seriously. Despite saying all the right things about championships being the ultimate goal, it is relatively clear that the team wants to break the single-season record for consecutive wins. Despite sluggish starts, the Heat are playing with high energy every night.

The Hornets are a young team but just don’t have an answer for LeBron. James wrapped up the MVP for this season a long time ago, and with Dwyane Wade down with sore knees for a few games, the best player in basketball has turned his play up another notch. Miami is one of the top offensive teams in all of basketball and can beat New Orleans from any area on the floor. The Heat lead the NBA in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and offensive efficiency. New Orleans is a team that has struggled defensively for much of the season and can’t expect to score with the Heat, so the Hornets will have to find a way to get stops.

Miami turns teams over quite a bit, and the extra possessions and easy buckets Miami gets off turnovers just wind up being killers for opponents who have enough issues defending Miami as it is. New Orleans would like to rely on Eric Gordon to be a go-to scorer for the team, but since coming back from injury, he hasn’t been as prolific offensively as he has been capable of in the past. Without that one dominant scorer, the team must resort to more of a collaborative effort to get points. The Hornets don’t share the ball all that well, ranking 20th in the NBA in assists per game. The paint is where Miami is normally vulnerable, but the Hornets lack a presence inside that can exploit the Heat’s weak front line.

Why New Orleans Will Win

People in the football betting world who don't pay all that much attention to NBA basketball could probably still tell you that the Hornets, who busted up the Denver Nuggets' 15-game winning streak earlier this week, are going to be fired up for this contest and will have an ample supply of confidence. Those ingredients - intensity and belief - go a long way on the court.

The Hornets have been playing better as of late, producing recent wins over Boston and (as mentioned above) Denver as they continue to shape the core they feel comfortable using in the future. One area in which the Hornets have to have success is on the glass. New Orleans is a respectable rebounding team, while board-work is one of the weaknesses for the Heat. It’s hard to imagine that New Orleans will get consistent high-quality shots against a tough Miami halfcourt defense. Therefore, New Orleans must be able to attack the glass, get offensive rebounds, and create second chances all game long.

Who Will Win

Miami has been running away from everyone else in the NBA for months and continues to show why it is not just the class of the league, but an NBA Finals favorite as the playoffs approach. New Orleans simply lacks the necessary talent to keep pace with Miami.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Miami

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