The Miami Heat overwhelmed the Bobcats through the series' first two games. In Game 1 it was a murderous, 31-point second quarter that led to Charlotte's fate. In Game 2, it was in the first quarter, when the Heat jumped out to a 10-point lead. The Bobcats have hung tough, only losing by 11 points in the first game, then staying within four in the second, but they are outmatched all over the floor, especially with an injured and hobbling Al Jefferson.
Charlotte's big man put together one of the finest regular season campaigns of his career, averaging 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds on 51 percent shooting. Against the Heat, a team without anyone big enough to bang with Jefferson on the block, he figured to have a huge advantage. Charlotte wouldn't win the series, but Jefferson would have a couple of games to bully the two-time champs down low. But he aggravated his plantar fasciitis in Game 1. In Game 2, he hobbled up and down the floor. Just a shame.
On the other end, Charlotte has no one to match up with LeBron James. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has played admirably, but he absolutely murders Charlotte's offensive spacing; the Heat barely even pay attention to him on that end of the floor. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have played second and third fiddle, scoring efficiently from all over the floor. Miami unloaded James Jones off the bench and added to its barrage from downtown.
As a team, the Heat are 20-of-43 (43.5 percent) from behind the arc. They are just punishing Charlotte's packed-in defense and have unlocked even more spacing for its star. And that's with practically no help from Ray Allen. The veteran sharpshooter has missed all three shots from deep and is just 1-of-8 from the field.
Still, Charlotte has a reason to be proud of its team. They're a stingy group on defense and they've made the two-time defending champions earn everything through two games. Keep an eye on the atmosphere at The Time Warner Cable Arena. Bobcats fans will treat their team to a warm welcome.
TV Schedule: ESPN; 7 p.m. ET
Announcing crew: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry and Chris Broussard
Local: SportsSouth, Sun Sports, WAXY, WFNZ 610 AM