The Charlotte Bobcats head back to The Time Warner Arena down 0-2 in their Eastern Conference series with The Miami Heat, but they are not letting the 2013 World Champs off the hook quite as easily as fans predicted. With most experts picking the Heat in a sweep, Bobcat’s head coach Steve Clifford says they will need to play mistake free down the stretch if they have any chance in the series, and not get steam-rolled by LeBron James and Company.
Hard fouls with rough and tumble play have kept the Bobcats in games one and two, but if they can’t get some much-needed bench scoring, they may not get a game in this series. The Miami machine is well oiled, and with Dwayne Wade heating up, it could be over without the one victory some thought Charlotte might get.
Al Jefferson’s plantar fascia injury is a definite problem, preventing him from bullying his way to the basket. He continues to be a dominate force in the paint, and with the Heat needing to double-team him, teammates will need to continue to look for open spaces where he can find them, when the pressure comes.
The Heat have dominated the series at the line, shooting 24 more times than the Bobcats during the first two games. Gerald Henderson and Mike Kidd-Gilchrist will need to put the ball on the floor, as they did in game two, and try to draw some more fouls out of the Heat, and convert at the line.
The big controversy in the series so far, came during game two with 50 seconds on the clock when LeBron made one of his patented drives to the hoop, and was fouled hard by forward, Josh McRoberts. Tom Sorensen, from the Charlotte Observer said, “if you are a Miami Heat fan, McRoberts attacked Lebron with his forearm, if you are a Bobcat fan, LeBron attacked McRoberts with his throat”.
A foul was called on the floor, but was later upgraded to a Flagrant 2, and McRoberts was fined $20,000 Dollars, but was not suspended. It was good hard-hitting playoff basketball, but I’m sure the league wants to protect their super-star. If LeBron James were injured, the NBA Playoff would be down-sized from “Must See TV to Consider Watching if the Heat do not make the finals against the San Antonio Spurs, or the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I don’t think there is any way the Charlotte Bobcats can win this series, especially with Al Jefferson injured, and not able to play up to 100% of his ability, but I do think they will win one, and playing on Saturday night in front of hometown fans just might be the ticket.
The tip should come around 7:00 Eastern Time at Time Warner Arena, and will be telecast locally on TOSH. You can see it on “Watch ESPN” if you’re out and about during the game.
Source: Charlotte Observer