There won't be moral victories for the Charlotte Bobcats after falling to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of their first-round series, not with center Al Jefferson injuring his foot. The Bobcats' big offseason acquisition limped through a 99-88 loss on Sunday and has vowed to play through a plantar fascia strain on Wednesday.
That the Bobcats did enough to be competitive in their playoff opener might help them this time around, especially if Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can shake his foul troubles to play more than 15 minutes like he did in Game 1. Charlotte got enough out of point guard Kemba Walker, forward Josh McRoberts, bench scorer Gary Neal and an injured Jefferson to hang with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but the Carolinians allowed Miami to go 11-for-23 in their three-point shooting, which was simply more efficient in a game at the Bobcats' pace.
Steve Clifford's team out-rebounded the Heat as expected, but most importantly they kept Miami out of transition. Charlotte turned the ball over just 13 times and held the Heat to six fastbreak points. If Charlotte could get more turnovers from Miami in Game 2, they might just pull out a win.
And a productive day from Jefferson of course would help Charlotte's cause.
TV schedule: 7 p.m. ET, TNT
Announcing crew: Brian Anderson, Greg Anthony, Rachel Nichols
Radio: WAXY, WFNZ 610 AM