We all knew that the Bobcats would face elimination at some point in the playoffs. Whether it be four games into the first round, or in game seven of the finals, the Bobcats’ magical 2013-14 campaign was going to have to end at some point. We just hoped that it wouldn’t be this early in the playoffs after three consecutive losses to a team that almost every ‘Cats’ fan has learned to hate over the past eight days.
To make matters worse, Al Jefferson is reportedly doubtful for tonight’s game four due to his continued struggle with a plantar fasciitis injury that has hampered his effectiveness in the playoffs. Despite putting up fifteen first quarter points in Saturday’s contest, Big Al’s pain supposevly got worse as the game went on. However, Jefferson still showed signs of optimism by telling reporters that he's taking things "hour by hour" this morning.
Bismack Biyombo will likely be in Jefferson’s place in the starting lineup tonight. Biyombo, who has only played 15 minutes and scored a single point in the series, will be making his tenth start of the season, but his first career playoff appearance in the starting lineup. One should certainly expect Miami to try to take advantage of Biz’s inexperience in a pivotal postseason matchup tonight.
On a side note, Gerald Henderson has been a huge disappointment for the Bobcats in the series thus far, averaging a mere nine points a contest while shooting just 38.5% from the floor. Gerald will certainly need to step up tonight in order for the Bobcats to be even competitive without Al Jefferson.
Despite Big Al’s injury and a lackluster performance in game three, it’s hard for me to imagine that the Bobcats are on the verge of elimination so early in the postseason. I’m picking this with all of my heart and none of my brain, but the ‘Cats will find a way to win game four behind spectacular performances from Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, both of whom will finally breakout tonight. Bobcats win 101-99.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe