The Miami Heat have won seven in a row and 10 of their last 11 (damn you, Utah!!!). They sport the second-best record in the NBA. They’ve been more efficient, defensively and offensively, and have been wiping the hardwood floor with opponents of late.
So why does a game against the Charlotte Bobcats feel so much like a trap?
Miami (42-14) can get complacent. They’ve been that way for years, at least during the regular season. Sometimes it shows up against good opponents and other times against the bottom of the barrel. This matchup against Charlotte is somewhere in the middle.
This is the best Bobcats team, well, ever…but even their biggest fans wouldn’t call them elite. They benefit from playing in the (L)Eastern Conference but have still managed to beat good teams out west, including the L.A. Clippers and taking the season series against the Golden State Warriors. So what to make of them?
It all starts with their big man in the middle, Al Jefferson. His play of late has been inspired, and he leads the team with 20.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Kemba Walker is playing his best ball as a pro and provides a nice complement to “Big Al.” Throw in Gerald Henderson (who’s game always seems to go up a notch against Miami), off-the-bench scorer Anthony Tolliver and makes-the-most-out-of-very-little Josh McRoberts and it’s easy to see why they’re currently the seventh-seed in the Eastern playoff race.
But they’re also just 27-32. That’s not good.
As unpredictable as Charlotte is, let’s be honest…the focus is all on Miami. They can beat anyone when they’re focused but will they be motivated? The Bobcats certainly will be, and Jefferson’s size and rebounding could exploit Miami’s most glaring weakness. Couple that with the possibility that Dwyane Wade will miss tonight’s game (the first of a back-to-back set) and the elements are all there, as Admiral Ackbar would certainly agree…
One can only hope Miami has The Force – or at least Darth LeBron – on their side.
The telecast of this game begins at 7:30 P.M. on Sun Sports from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. You can also visit Razorgator for Heat tickets to the game. Check back with AllUCanHeat for a recap after the game.