For all the change this off-season, one thing about the Charlotte Hornets seemed disturbingly familiar Wednesday:
They can’t get their act together when facing the Heat in Miami.
The Hornets, who lost 104-94, had a brutal second quarter, shooting just 35 percent from the field and being outscored 31-17. They never recovered from those 12 minutes in a season-opening loss at American Airlines Arena.
The Hornets gave up far too many layups defensively and couldn’t make 3-pointers, despite all the roster moves intended to improve shooting.
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The Hornets play another road game against a Southeast Division rival Friday, when they face the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Three who mattered
Al Jefferson: He made Hassan Whiteside look silly often with his post moves. Weight loss was evident when he finished a fast break in the first half.
Jeremy Lin: He’s playing with a confidence and aggression that he didn’t get much chance to express last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwyane Wade: He made new Hornets starter P.J. Hairston’s life rough playing defense.
▪ Coach Steve Clifford chose to start Marvin Williams at power forward, but both Williams and Cody Zeller played starter-type roles, particularly since Williams swings to small forward, too.
▪ Jeremy Lamb (ankle) and Troy Daniels (hamstring) both missed the game. Lamb is close to a return; if he practices effectively Thursday he might play against the Hawks.
▪ Heat scored 30 points in the lane by halftime. I can see why the Hornets had misgivings about Bismack Biyombo, but they never replaced him as a rim-protector.
▪ Clifford might be playing one more big man than the rotation can really sustain, but he’s determined to find rookie Frank Kaminsky minutes.
▪ Hairston starting doesn’t necessarily mean he will play a lot. His shooting will weigh in on his playing time.
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▪ Gastonia’s Whiteside, who makes less than $1 million this season, is hoping for a major contract extension next summer.
▪ Clifford said he likes how Zeller performs with reserves Lin and Spencer Hawes.
▪ Miami might be the one spot in the NBA where DJ’s are introduced to the crowd as celebrities.
C-minus OFFENSE: The 3-point shooting didn’t look improved, despite all the off-season moves to address it.
D DEFENSE Until the Hornets start getting back in transition consistently they won’t be the defense they were last two seasons.
C COACHING: Clifford has diagnosed the problems, now he has to implement correction in practice Thursday.
Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell