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- Miami arrives in Charlotte after knocking off Oklahoma City in a nationally telvised game on Christmas Day and now faces a team on a 15-game losing streak which could lead to a dropoff in performance. However the Heat don’t think that will be an issue. need for motivation vs. Bobcats. “We actually addressed it today during our walk through,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s a different kind of motivation. It doesn’t make it better or worse. It’s what you have to deal with in the elague. The last time we were in a situation like this, with Washington, we didn’t handle it well. We have to have the same kind of respect for what we’re trying to do with our identitty against a team that’s played some really tough games. We know how this league works and we have to handle our attitude and our disposition tonight.”
- One of the key differences between Charlotte’s 7-5 start and its 15-game losing streak has been defense. In the 7-5 start, the Bobcats gave up 99.6 points and allowed opponents to shoot 44 percent from the floor. However, the Bobcats have given up an average of 109.4 points on 48.1 percent shooting during its current losing streak. Additonally, Charlotte has had issues defending in the post. Most recently, the Nuggets scored 78 points in the paint agasinst Charlotte.
- Ray Allen will be inactive against the Bobcats Wednesday night. Allen injured his right shoulder late in Tuesday’s game with Oklahoma City. He was on the receiving end of a hard screen from Kendrick Perkins and did return to the game. Chris Bosh is expected to play against Charlotte after taking a blow to the eye in Wednesday’s win over Oklahoma City. The Heat’s injury report is clean unlike Charlotte. The Bobcats will be without Byron Mullens (left ankle sprain) and Tyrus Thomas (left calf strain) while both Ben Gordon (right knee discomfort) and Gerald Henderson (right shin contusion) are both likely to see action.
- The Bobcats will start Hakim Warrick in place of the injured Mullens. Warrick averaged 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the last two games which is almost double his season averages. Charlotte will also give extra mintues to Brendan Haywood and
- The Miami Heat assigned center Dexter Pittman to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls SkyForce, Wednesday. The second-year player out of Texas has averaged 1.5 points and 1.8 rebounds in four games this season for the Heat. “We’re excited about it,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve been talking about it the last two or three weeks with Dexter and his agent. Everyone is on the same page about it. We won’t have a lot of practice time the next few weeks and this will get him some real game time for an extended period of time.” Spoelstra said his length of stay has not yet been determined, but would likely be at least three weeks.
– Derek S. Smith