HEAT Take On Zion & The Pelicans

Duncan Robinson
Photo Credit: Jesse D. Garrabrant
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

Riding high on a four-game winning streak, the HEAT have made their way to New Orleans to face the Pelicans on Friday at 8PM.

And while Miami came away with a 109-94 victory in its last meeting with New Orleans on Nov. 16, we can’t really glean too much from that matchup since so many key contributors were out for the Pelicans.

But you know who’s in the lineup now?

Some guy named Zion Williamson.

If you haven’t heard, he’s pretty good. In fact, he’s averaging 24.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists on 58.2 percent shooting in 17 games thus far. As such, New Orleans is outscoring the opposition by 9.8 points per 100 possessions with Williamson on the floor.

We also can’t forget about Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, whom are both enjoying breakout seasons. Ingram has led the Pelicans in scoring all year, while Ball has found the range from deep since the All-Star Break (21-of-45 in seven games).

Then again, that three-point volume seems rather tame in comparison to Duncan Robinson. The 25-year-old sharpshooter drilled nine treys against the Magic on Wednesday to give him 225 on the year. He needs one more three to break the record for most by an undrafted player in a single season (he’s currently tied with former HEAT player Damon Jones) and three more to break the franchise record for threes in a season (Wayne Ellington set that in 2017-18).

Crazy stuff.

Oh yeah, Robinson is also shooting 44.6 percent from downtown, which is the best among the Top 15 players in 3-pointers made.

Now, New Orleans is right around league average in defending the three, but is extremely vulnerable at the rim (the squad is giving up a league-high 33.7 attempts per game in the restricted area).

We’ll see if the HEAT can take advantage and turn things around on the road.

INJURY/STATUS REPORT:

For Miami, Kyle Alexander (G League - Two Way), Tyler Herro (Right Ankle Soreness), Meyers Leonard (Left Ankle Sprain), KZ Okpala (G League - On Assignment) and Gabe Vincent (G League - Two Way) are out.

For New Orleans, Zylan Cheatham (G League - Two-Way), Josh Gray (G League - Two-Way), Darius Miller (Right Achilles Surgery) and JJ Redick (Left Hamstring Strain) are out. Kenrich Williams (Right Lower Back Soreness) is probable.

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