Ray Charles - Mess Around
Game Overview: While the Bobcats have been eliminated from the playoff chase and are now playing for nothing, the Heat are tied with the Celtics for the second seed. So don't expect everyone to rest for Miami as they try to win out to get ahead of Boston for the second seed.
The Bobcats are still stuck with the injury-shortened roster, so expect Dante Cunningham or Dominic McGuire to start. Since the last time we played the Heat, Mike Bibby signed with Miami and now starts while Carlos Arroyo got waived. While I guess that's an upgrade, the point guard is still a weak position for Miami. An aging Bibby is still a sub-par perimeter defender that D.J. Augustin should be able to exploit (but with his inconsistency, who knows). But Miami's team defense is where it really shines. It swarms and forces opponents into poor shots. So Augustin will probably have some trouble with that. Dwyane Wade bruised his thigh a couple days back but hopes to play tonight. If it's not completely healed, look for Gerald Henderson to drive on Wade. But Wade is still an excellent defender and will likely give Henderson a rough night. Generally speaking, the Bobcats need to just force the Big Three into poor shot selection and do their best keeping Wade and LeBron out of the paint. On offense, they need to get that ball moving and try to find holes in the defense with good ball movement.
Injury Report: Bobcats - Stephen Jackson (hamstring); Tyrus Thomas (knee); Shaun Livingston (tailbone), Najera; Heat - Wade (bruised thigh - day-to-day); Udonis Haslem (out)
Key Matchup: D.J. Augustin vs Mike Bibby - Please, DJ, destroy Mike Bibby.