Key Matchup vs. Miami Heat: Jeremy Lamb vs. Wayne Ellington
A tough back-to-back set for the Charlotte Hornets wraps up on Saturday night as they head south to square off against the division-rival Miami Heat in their season-series finale.
Jeremy Lamb has continued to be Charlotte's most reliable, all-around option off the bench this season, ranking third in the NBA in reserve scoring since Nov. 15 (12.9 PPG; mini. 30 GP). The UConn product also has totaled 80 double-digit scoring games off the bench in his two-and-a-half years with the Hornets, the third-highest total in franchise history.
The Hornets will need to see Lamb step up defensively as he'll likely be paired up against Wayne Ellington, who has quietly become one of the league's most dangerous three-point threats. Having found a home in Miami after a handful of years as a journeyman, Ellington is currently averaging a career-high 11.4 points per game and ranks tied for third in the league in total three-point field goals made (146).
Having already connected on 15-of-27 long-range attempts (58.8 percent) in the three previous meetings this season, Ellington has proved to be an extremely tough cover for the Hornets lately. Although Miami is continuing to deal with injuries to its wing players (Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson), Charlotte will still need a strong showing of perimeter defense in order to slow down the Heat's biggest three-point weapon.