Stop me if you’ve heard this before, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade took care of business while another Heat player got hot outside and Miami got the win. Oh, basically every playoff game the Heat have won the past several postseasons? The two time defending champs know their way around the postseason better than most right now. Behind the gap in talent, perhaps the second biggest disadvantage the Charlotte Bobcats have is a lack of playoff experience and savvy.
For as great as Al Jefferson has been, he’s never made it out of the first round in two tries along with Josh McRoberts and Anthony Tolliver—who has only had one appearance. Luke Ridnour has made the playoffs twice in his eleven year career with the farthest run being a second round loss to the Spurs in 2005. The players with the most experience then are Gary Neal who was on the Spurs the past three years and Jannero Pargo, who won’t play. For everybody else it’s their first go-round, which is basically all the guys they’ve drafted in the past five years. So in terms of veteran playoff leadership the Bobcats have Gary Neal and he’s not exactly the kind of guy you want leading your team. This leaves a pretty young and inexperienced team to go against the most battle tested unit in recent years.
To go on top of this, Big Al strained his plantar fascia last night as well. Basically, your plantar fascia is a ligament on the bottom of your foot that runs from your heel to your toes that supports the arch of your foot. So when it gets irritated, it can be very painful to walk—and when you’re an NBA center the size of Big Al, ouch. He’s going to play through it because everybody gets dinged up in the playoffs but it will definitely hold him back a bit.
The Bobcats have never really had much of an answer for LeBron and crew, so to expect one in the next few games would be crazy. That being said the Bobcats aren’t going to just roll over. In fact, they kept it competitive for most of the game until the Heat ran away with it in the fourth quarter. The thirteen turnovers killed them but shouldn’t be surprising with a young team facing the chaotic blitzing the Heat employ for their pick and roll defense.
Game 2 is not until Wednesday, hopefully Big Al can heal up in time to play effectively and the Bobcats can make some fine-tuned adjustments for the second match up.
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