Key Matchup vs. Miami Heat: Cody Zeller vs. Hassan Whiteside
By Sam Perley, hornets.com
The season-series finale between the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat could come down to a battle of big men when these two teams collide at Spectrum Center on Wednesday night. Cody Zeller has flourished during Charlotte’s late-season run, averaging 11.0 points on 66.7 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks over his last 10 outings. The fourth overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft also currently holds an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.33 since the All-Star Break, the third-highest mark of any center in the league during this span.
Charlotte will need a sensational effort on the glass from Zeller has he’ll square off against the NBA’s best rebounder in Hassan Whiteside. Now in his third season with the Heat, the Marshall University product is averaging career-high marks in both scoring (16.8 points) and rebounding (14.0; highest in NBA) to go along with 2.1 blocks (T-3rd in NBA) per game this season. Whiteside is on pace to be just the eighth different player in league history to average at least 16.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks for an entire NBA season.
Winning the battle on the boards and limiting Miami’s second-chance opportunities could go a long way for the Charlotte Hornets in picking up a crucial home victory when they take on the Heat for the final time this season on Wednesday night at Spectrum Center.
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