We are continuing our payoff coverage here at Hot Hot Hoops getting you ready for Game 2 of the First Round series between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats. Here's 5 questions to think about and consider heading into Wednesday's match-up.
1. What type of impact will Al Jefferson have now that he is hurt?
Jefferson aggravated his plantar fascia during Game 1 and had him hobbled the rest of the game, even after getting pain shots to continue playing. "I just felt it pop -- like somebody shot me. A terrible feeling" said Jefferson. It's an injury so annoying Chris Bosh felt bad and sympathetic for him, as he has had it in the past. But Jefferson, although in a walking boot since the end of Game 1, insisted that he will play in Game 2. Medics cleared him without a chance to further the injury by playing.
The Charlotte Bobcats are very dependent on Al Jefferson, probably more than any other team is on one player. Jefferson will play, and I still think he will be effective. We will still see him on the block and causing problems for the Heat. Jefferson had 18 points and 10 rebounds in Game 1. I think where he will be limited is his mobility in transition, and also his mobility in moving around on defense. Those issues themselves won't warrant him losing playing time. Expect to see Jefferson tough it out and be a factor.
2. Will Dwyane Wade have another strong game?
It was only Wade's second 20+ point game in the last month, having missed many with injuries. But in Game 1, he had 23 points on 10-16 shooting and 5 assists in 34 minutes. He looked good and was active on both ends. Listen, there hasn't been a whole lot of past experience to suggest Wade will perform again at this level. But, he's had 2 days off, it's the playoffs, and he isn't going up against any defensive stoppers.
Gerald Henderson will try his best, but he can't contain Wade, as he routinely took him to the post and scored. HHH has more on Wade and whether he is BACK or not.
3. Will James Jones have the same role as he did in Game 1?
James Jones leap frogged Rashard Lewis in the rotation in the second half of Game 1. HHH looked at Jones was ready when called upon. He scored 12 points in 14 minutes. Between December 8 and March 26, Jones played a total of 14 minutes for the Heat. But he was ready. I don't think you will see James play the same role in Game 2. I think because of how successful he was in Game 1, he will see time, but I also won't be surprised to see Spoelstra go with Shane Battier if the Heat are struggling on defense.
Jones should be able to score, and the more he shoots, the more he will play in this series.
4. Will Ray Allen score in this game?
Yes. It's very unlikely for Ray to have a game like he did in Game 1. He shot 0-4 and only took one three-pointer. You should expect to see Ray be more effective, and more than that, LeBron James much more active in helping Ray get his stroke going, because they will need him in this post-season.
5. What will be the outcome?
I think you are going to see the Heat win this game similarly to how they won Game 1. Listen, they are playing the Bobcats, the Heat knows they can coast a little bit and still be able to pull out the victory if they turn it on in the second half. I think Miami holds home court and heads to Charlotte up 2-0.