The Charlotte Bobcats have a tall order against the Miami Heat Wednesday in Game 2 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, but evening the series at 1-1 isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.
The seventh-seeded Bobcats are 13-4 in games following losses since mid-January, a streak that helped them in their run to the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Miami has won 17 straight games against Charlotte, and for the Bobcats to have a chance Wednesday, Al Jefferson must be productive.
Jefferson suffered a foot injury during Game 1 on Sunday and is listed as day-to-day, but insisted on Tuesday that he would play in Game 2 despite spending much of the last three days in a walking boot.
Charlotte will need Jefferson to be the presence he has been for the team during a season when he averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.
Jefferson had 18 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1, but was noticeably laboring on the court during most of the second half after getting the injury during the first quarter. He was later diagnosed with a plantar fascia strain.
Kemba Walker, who led the Bobcats with 20 points in Game 1, must also be a force again for the team to have a chance.
Another key will be how to defend LeBron James, something Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was fairly effective in doing during Game 1 before being saddled with foul trouble and playing a little more than 14 minutes.