Gametime: 7:00 p.m. EST
Perhaps the most telling thing about this Heat team is how easily it can seem that they don't care to grinding opponents up like dirt beneath tank treads.
The narrative a month or two ago was full of handwringing about whether the Heat were coasting through their regular season games, which resulted in more losses than expected, or if they were really so discombobulated that they couldn't gather themselves together in sync to beat lesser teams.
And now they're back to their old ways having won seven straight, including wins on the road over Oklahoma City, Dallas, Golden State and Phoenix.
Now no one blinks an eye because it's to be expected from a team of such caliber and talent. To so easily shift the waves of thinking in one direction, and then back without making much noise as they have says all you need to know: The Heat know how to win and don't you forget it.
Beating Miami takes terrific execution on defense and offense. Charlotte will have to be disciplined in transition defense for if and when they make mistakes, few teams can capitalize as well as Miami can, from inside and out. LeBron will get his, but the defense has to key on making him take as many of his shots as possible from the midrange. Closing out is big, but preventing him from skating through to the hoop will be more important. Miami's ball movement starts with him, which makes them even more difficult to defend as their shooters can drop daggers from just a pass or two away.
And I don't think I need to go into to much detail about Wade and Bosh but basically Wade's slashing and ballhandling helps Miami's offense create when LeBron draws too much heat and Bosh is a good threat as a jump shooter and in the pick and roll or out of the triple-threat stance. On some nights, it's just picking a poison.
Charlotte's offense and defense will have to take advantage of the problems that sets in while Miami's starters rest. The Heat's depth can be exploited if the defense holds strong. But if Charlotte takes on big deficits early, it might be too difficult to make up lost ground against a team like Miami.