Charlotte Bobcats vs Miami Heat, Game 3 preview

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Down 0-2, the Bobcats return home to face the Heat in a pivotal game in the series.

Not entirely surprising, the Bobcats play Game 3 against the Miami Heat down 0-2. We knew it would be a tough series, but the Bobcats have at least made the Heat work for their wins, especially Wednesday night. Playing the Heat at home is no easy task (Just ask the '12 and '13 Indiana Pacers) but the visitors made them sweat until the final buzzer. Really, this has been all we could ask of our Bobcats to this point.

No one exemplified the Bobcats' toughness more than Al Jefferson for dragging himself up the court on a torn plantar fascia. That's not exactly a pleasant injury to play through and there is no risk of doing further damage, but he somehow played 40 minutes and posted 18 points and 13 rebounds. This of course is all the more impressive considering he was in a walking boot the days leading up to the game.

The Bobcats were fortunate to dodge a bullet when Josh McRoberts was only fined for elbowing LeBron James instead of being suspended. The two-game sample size is small, but the Bobcats get outscored 2:1 when McRoberts is on the bench.

If the team could ask for one more break, it may be to get Kemba Walker on track. Through two games he is averaging four rebounds and seven assists per game, but he's struggled shooting the ball so far. Well, actually, he's shooting 46 percent from three, but just 33 percent from the field. Even if he gets that up to 40 percent, the Bobcats are better off and can take some pressure off of Jefferson to carry the load. Part of this could be attributed to the fact that he's taken 15 threes in games 1 and 2 -- which is about half as many field goals he's taken altogether. As a result, he's also been to the line eight times in two games, which is slightly below his season average of free-throw attempts. Credit the Miami defense, absolutely, but finding ways to get Walker into the lane and to the line more will only benefit the Bobcats.

Assuming Jefferson's foot holds up, the Bobcats are on the right track. They've been competitive each night, which is as much as we could have asked for. When they return home, let's see if they can make those slight adjustments to at least steal one in this series. After all, it's hard to beat the same team seven times in one season.

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