Friday Night Hoops: Heat at Bobcats Preview

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes..." - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a victory and two-day rest, the Bobcats will take on the Heat at home on Friday night looking to steal a late-season victory. But do they stand a chance?

It may be tempting to look past this game and forward to June's NBA draft, but there are still seven games left, so don't do that! And with the Bobcats winning two of their last five they haven't given up on the season yet and neither should you. I also understand it's Friday, which is awesome, and it's also basketball, which is also awesome, therefore what could be more awesome than Friday basketball? Nothing. Nothing is better than Friday basketball. I for one cannot think of a better way to spend a Friday night watching my favorite team at home.

It's not just Bobcats basketball on a Friday night, but it's Friday night Bobcats basketball and the Miami Heat are in town. Well, most of the Heat, anyway. After Ray Allen tweaked his ankle falling on a cameraman, he will likely join Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Mario Chalmers as probable scratches tonight. As for the Heat as a team, they have gone 2-2 since their winning streak ended, but it took Carmelo Anthony going for 50 points to beat Miami while James, Wade and Chalmers watched in suits and ties. So they're still a very good team otherwise. Don't go thinking you can skip this game because the Heat may not play everybody, because who knows who might play and you could chance missing a good game. Plus, who doesn't want to see Mike Miller start against Gerald Henderson?

As for us Bobcats fans, we will want to see our team continue to try and finish the season as strongly as possible in hopes of building some confidence and momentum going into the offseason. Not that we know what to expect since they have recently lost to the Knicks by nine, beat the Sixers by five and lost to the Bucks by twenty-nine, but the mystery of wondering which team will show up is part of the intrigue (I hope). Still, we want to see our young guys continue to progress as the season closes and which veterans -- especially those on expiring deals -- are worth retaining in hopes of giving the front office the best possible idea of what this team needs to do this summer.

The Heat are no small challenge. They're a top-10 defensive team, the number one ranked shooting team, and while they may be last in total rebounds, they're fifth in rebounds total rebounds allowed because they don't leave that many rebounds. Despite being a young team, the Bobcats are good at protecting the ball, which is helpful against a team like the Heat. However, turnovers are just one of the little things the Bobcats will have to do if they want to have a puncher's chance at winning; they will also have to do their work on the glass and exert themselves on defense for 48 minutes.

Finally, the Bobcats may have lost each of the three previous games this season against the Heat by an average margin of defeat of 16.6 points per game, but with the Heat potentially resting players to ready themselves for a playoff run, the Bobcats will look to send them back to South Beach with a hard-fought game under their belt. Make no mistake -- it will be a tough game. Yet a tough game shouldn't stop you from tuning in. After all, we only have a handful of games remaining in the season.

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