After more than a week spent on the road, American Airlines Arena must be a warm sight for the Miami Heat.
Miami is coming off a four-game road trip that included a stop at the White House and a night at a sports bar to watch Super Bowl XLVII. The Heat finished the trip even with wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, along with losses to the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have played well throughout the trip, the rest of the team hasn’t had a balanced approach. Despite this, the Heat still has the best record in the Eastern Conference as of yesterday, earning head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff a trip to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston on February 17.
The Bobcats are currently on a three-game losing streak, all of them being blowouts. In their last game against the Houston Rockets Saturday night, rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was hit on the back of the head during a fast break early in the fourth quarter and had to taken off the court on a stretcher wearing a neck brace. He was diagnosed with a concussion and will not play tonight.
The game will played under a cloud that hovered over the first meeting between the two teams. On December 26, 2012 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte an incident involving Wade and the Bobcats’s Ramon Sessions in which a low blow was administered led to Wade being suspended one game by the NBA.