Posted: 11:48 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
By Jason Lieser
The Heat have yet to accelerate into their top speed and barely hung on for a 101-97 win over the Bobcats tonight in Game 2 of their first-round series. Miami is up 2-0 as it looks toward Game 3 in Charlotte on Saturday.
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After fighting hard for a 99-88 win in Game 1 and seeing Charlotte star Al Jefferson hampered by plantar fasciitis, it seemed the disparity would only widen. There were times in Game 2 when Miami was in position to bury the Bobcats, but it wasted opportunities with three huge leads that shrunk to three or four points.
At the end, it took a steal by Dwyane Wade in the final seconds to secure victory. Here are three points that will be heavily discussed following tonight’s escape:
1. This is shaping up to be the perfect first-round series for Miami. Despite their struggles, the Heat are up 2-0 and have a strong shot at sweeping Charlotte. They are the only top-four seed in either conference to go up 2-0 and if they do sweep, they might be the only team to do so. However, they are being tested. This is much different than facing Milwaukee last year. Charlotte is a top-10 defensive team and is making Miami work. If the Heat come out of this healthy, it could be exactly the preparation they need before taking on a tougher opponent in Toronto or Brooklyn next.
2. Josh McRoberts is likely going to be in trouble for his foul on LeBron James. The officials did not whistle McRoberts for a flagrant foul when he took down James in the final minute, but he probably will hear from the NBA on Thursday or Friday with a revised decision. With 50 seconds remaining, James drove into the paint and McRoberts caught him in the throat with a forearm or elbow in the air. James struggled to breathe and still was wheezing during his post-game press conference an hour later. At a minimum, McRoberts seems sure to get hit with a retroactive flagrant. There also is a possibility he will be suspended for Game 3. Here is a video of the play:
3. Chris Bosh is alive and well. Even during his slump, Bosh kept saying he liked the shots he was getting. He finally hit them. He scored 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting in Game 2, including 4 of 5 on 3-pointers. Over his final 23 games of the regular season, he shot 48.4 percent from the field — well below his season mark prior to that stretch — and 29.2 percent from 3. He stumbled in Game 1 with 13 points on 4-of-13 shooting, but looked like he was back to normal tonight. “I know I don’t dunk and hit a bunch of crazy shots; I just want to play good, effective basketball,” he said. “All the other stuff really doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m effective for my teammates.”