The Miami Heat will begin their quest for a third straight title on Sunday at home against the Charlotte Bobcats when the NBA playoffs get underway.
The Heat entered the last day of the year secured as the two seed in the Eastern Conference and awaited news of which team would be the seven seed. The Washington Wizards could’ve easily been headed to Miami instead but it will be Charlotte after the results of Wednesday’s games. The Heat have defeated the Bobcats 16 straight times including four games during the 2013-14 season.
The first contest this season between the teams was on November 16th in Charlotte when the Heat came away 97-81 winners. In that game, LeBron James had 30 points and ran the show in a slow day for both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The next time the two teams saw one another was December 1st in Miami with the Heat narrowly winning 99-98. That game was highlighted by Chris Bosh draining a trifecta of three-pointers in a 79 second span to lead Miami to the victory.
On January 18th, a third meeting took place with the Heat winning in overtime 104-96 in Charlotte. With Wade missing the game, both James and Bosh had big games. James had 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Bosh tallied 25 points of his own to go along with seven boards. Ray Allen also contributed in a big way picking up 12 points and nine rebounds of his own. The last game on March 3rd featured James’ 61-point explosion in a lopsided 124-107 Heat victory. Wade missed that contest as well and James played with a protective mask due to a fractured nose.
A year ago, Charlotte finished 21-61 which was one of the worst records in the entire NBA. It was a different story however this season. The Bobcats had a decent year going 43-39 for their second playoff appearance ever and the first for Charlotte since the 2009-10 season. Led by Al Jefferson, the Bobcats finished strong with eight wins in their final nine games. Charlotte also features point guard Kemba Walker who is a potentially budding star in the NBA.
The first game of the series will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday from the American Airlines Arena.