The Miami Heat weren’t disappointed by getting the No. 2 seed in the East. Facing the Charlotte Bobcats in Round 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs seemed like just what the doctor ordered. By the time the Heat walked out of Game 1 with a 99-88 victory, LeBron James and Co. realized the series could be harder than expected. Victory could be easier if a few dominoes fell their way, and heading into tonight’s Heat vs. Bobcats game at 7pm EST on TNT, those dominoes appear to be falling as planned. You can watch Miami Heat vs Charlotte Bobcats online live Game 2 using the links below.
The first domino was Charlotte starting center Al Jefferson. Jefferson is the Charlotte Bobcats’ leading scorer and rebounder, and he finished Game 1 with 18 points. Not too shabby, particularly considering he was ineffective after injuring his foot in the second quarter. The prognosis was plantar fasciitis, which is both painful and lingering.
Things seemed bleak heading into tonight’s Miami Heat game 2, as Jefferson was still seen in a walking boot as late as this afternoon. However, asked by the Charlotte Observer if he would play in tonight’s game on TNT, Jefferson said “I can’t say there won’t be any kind of pain. But I feel like every hour it’s getting better and better. It’s responding really well. I should be good for tonight.”
The Miami Heat would prefer a hobbled Jefferson rather than a full-speed one going into tonight’s live Game 2. That’s because Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is likely to play more in Game 2 than he did in Game 2.
Kidd-Gilchrist was surprisingly successful limiting LeBron James’ scoring on Sunday night. As the Bobcats’ starting small forward on Sunday, MKD held James to 1-of-5 shooting and 2-of-4 free throws and just four points to get things going. Unfortunately for Bobcats fans, he only played 14:41 due to foul trouble.
James ended the game as the Heat’s leading scorer (27 points) to go with his nine rebounds.
Tonight’s Heat – Bobcats game on TNT could therefore pose even more trouble for the Heat than Sunday’s game 1. If Jefferson returns, even not at 100%, he’ll give the Bobcats a much-needed presence down low. Kidd-Gilchrist, meanwhile, could have a larger impact on the defensive end if he can avoid fouls and stay on the floor against LeBron James.
The Heat were down many as nine in the first half on Sunday, and they trailed 52-49 with 9:01 left in the third quarter. Miami’s always been able to score points in spurts, but on Sunday they relied on that to walk home with a 1-0 series lead. Sunday’s spurt also came from seldom-used reserve swingman James Jones, who scored 12 points including a 3-pointer with 45.1 seconds left in the third quarter to make it a six-point game.
Nobody, not the least of which being the Miami Heat, thought their game 1 against the Bobcats would pose such a challenge. Having to come from behind and rely on a bench-friendly reserve for points isn’t exactly the stuff NBA Championship dreams are made of. For tonight’s game 2 between the Heat and Bobcats, Miami will need a few more dominoes to fall in their favor.
You can see if they do either by watching TNT’s live TV broadcast or if you watch Miami Heat vs Charlotte Bobcats online live Game 2. TNT allows cable and satellite subscribers to watch NBA games online free via their live-streaming TNT Overtime service. You can also download the TNT Watch Live app for your tablet or mobile device. In addition, the the TNT website often has live streaming NBA games, and they’re likely to do the same for tonight’s Heat Bobcats game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm EST / 4pm PST.