Sunday, November 11, 2012

Will James Harden and Jeremy Lin Fare Better Against the Heat?

After allowing Wayne Ellington—Wayne Ellington!—to light them up for seven threes in Memphis, Heat players lifted off for Houston for Monday night's matchup with the 3-3 Rockets.

On the second night of a back-to-back, in contrast to the first, the focus will be on the opposing backcourt and two players the Heat have handled quite well recently.

One is James Harden, who was traded from Oklahoma City just prior to the season, got the contract and starting spot that he sought and enters Monday's play ranked third in the league in scoring.

The other is Jeremy Lin, the former Harvard point guard who was such a sensation with the Knicks last season that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade joked about the way ESPN was even overlooking them. Lin came to the Rockets after the Knicks chose not to match an offer sheet, and he's struggled somewhat so far, averaging 12.3 points but shooting just 37.3 percent.

It will be mostly up to Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade to keep the duo under control, while contributing more offensively than either did Sunday, when they combined to shoot 5-for-24.

The good news for Miami is that each has had recent success against his opposing marker.

(All quotes for this article were collected at practices or games by the author.)

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Jason Lambert Ronaldo de Souza Shane Carwin Mike Nickels Rashad Evans

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