What seemed nearly impossible at the beginning of the regular season is now finally here for the Charlotte Bobcats: the playoffs. Indeed, it is finally time for some long awaited postseason basketball for our ‘Cats, who seemingly exceeded all expectations throughout the year. The only problem with this year’s playoffs for Charlotte is that our Bobcats are matched-up against the mighty Miami Heat, a team that we have yet to beat since Lebron James took his “talents to South Beach” back in 2010.
The Heat are coming off a rough month of April, finishing just 3-6 down the stretch with many of their reserves in the lineup, as the team decided to rest some of their star players for the playoffs. Dwyane Wade, who has missed 28 games this season for Miami, is supposedly completely healthy for tomorrow’s game and should play north of 30 minutes for the first time almost a month. LeBron James and Chris Bosh are also well rested and should receive plenty of playing time after the pair missed the team’s final two regular season games.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats are coming off a month of April in which the team clinched their second postseason berth in franchise history and finished 7-1 down the stretch. Despite that fantastic run for Charlotte, the team was unable to regain the conference’s sixth seed from Washington and in return, will face the NBA’s defending champion in the first round.
We all know how good the Heat have been in the past few years in the playoffs, with a finals appearance in 2011 and back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. It’s true: ever since LeBron stopped trying to play as the “villain” after his first season in Miami, the Heat have truly been a fantastic basketball spectacle and one of American sports’ most popular teams thanks in part to ESPN and a large migration of fans from Cleveland. However, the real question for the Heat is if they can survive our Charlotte Bobcats in the first round of the playoffs.
Game #1 Prediction
Even though the Bobcats have lost their last 16 games to the Heat, the playoffs are a different animal for both teams. While Miami has had plenty of recent postseason success, the Bobcats are a young and exciting team that could give an older Miami club some trouble. Game number one should certainly be exciting for the Bobcats and the city of Charlotte, and while it will be difficult for the ‘Cats to win the series, we will win game one. After the Bobcats win tomorrow’s game by the final score of 110-106 behind 35 points from Big Al, remember that you heard it here first. Go Bobcats!
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe