|Josh McRoberts, PF Shot Chart 37 MIN | 6-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | -1
He was excellent all day. McBob is usually good when he finds a way to make most of his three-point attempts, and he was today. He picked his spots just about perfectly, reading what the defense was giving him. McBob had a monster dunk on Birdman in the 4th quarter that really made it all worth it for me today.
— Video per NBA.com
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF Shot Chart 15 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-1 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +8
Most expected that MKG’s minutes would be limited in this series, especially if the Bobcats were trailing in the second half, which they were. His effort on the offensive glass was the most impressive and gave something for Charlotte to walk away from on ugly possessions today. Can’t ask for a ton more from MKG in these kinds of minutes.
|Al Jefferson, C Shot Chart 35 MIN | 9-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 18 PTS | -11
Jefferson reportedly has a strained plantar fascia. It happened in the first half and Big Al told reporters after the game that he had to have two shots just in order to return to the game. When he did return, he wasn’t anywhere close to 100% and only went 2-6 from the floor in the second half.
It is a popular thought that Jefferson’s strain is technically a partial tear, which is apparently common – I wouldn’t know. It’s going to be extremely painful, but Jefferson claims that he will play through the injury. My understanding is that this injury could potentially get worse by playing on it, so it will be very interesting to see how the team handles this.
We all want Big Al to play and know that Charlotte has zero chance to even steal a game without him, but he’s also the foundation of the franchise at this point – how much do you want to risk moving forward if you’re the front office.
|Kemba Walker, PG Shot Chart 38 MIN | 6-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 6 TO | 20 PTS | 0
Kemba loves the games and moments where the intensity is ratcheted up – he’s likely going to have inflated shooting numbers in this series. That being said, he got a little ahead of himself today in spots and it led to 6 turnovers. Miami will blitz Kemba on a ton of PnR’s and he didn’t necessarily show the composure to handle their pressure on every occasion today.
|Gerald Henderson, SG Shot Chart 32 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | 0
Sigh. Very frustrating watching Hendo be very passive offensively and allow D-Wade to abuse him by getting wherever he wanted to go offensively. He’s got to be better in this series, much better.
|Gary Neal, SG Shot Chart 28 MIN | 7-16 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -13
Along with Kemba, Neal had to force numerous bad shots as the shot clock was running down. This was a product of the Bobcats not being able to get the ball into the post due to Jefferson’s immobility. All things considered, Neal being able to manage 7-16 from the floor probably isn’t that terrible.
|Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG Shot Chart 21 MIN | 0-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -17
Inexistent. Another guy, along with Hendo, who’s going to have to figure out a way to be more assertive offensively. For CDR, that usually means making cuts off the ball, spacing the correct spots off dribble-penetration + grabbing 50/50 balls for put-backs.
If Jefferson cannot track down post-entries that are thrown to areas, rather than directly to him, as was the case yesterday due to the fact that he couldn’t move – well, then this will be quick work for the Heat to rid of Charlotte in the first round.
Coach, I know you know that it’s a long shot, but you’re going to have to insert some more quick offense that uses Jefferson as a decoy – if he can’t move to track down balls, I got nothing.
Four Things We Saw
- Miami forced 15 Charlotte turnovers and shot 11-23 (47.8%) from three-point range. Those are two stats that cannot repeat themselves in order for the Bobcats to have a chance in this series.
- Dwyane Wade abused Gerald Henderson to the tune of 23 points on 10-16 shooting. I mentioned in my series scouting report preview that this would be a key matchup due to the unknown of Wade’s health. Worst case scenario start for Hendo and the Bobcats here.
- It’s simple, folks. If Jefferson is only as healthy as the second half suggested then the Bobcats essentially have no chance. He’ll be much easier to front for the Heat and it’ll be close to impossible for the Bobcats to get post-entries into him – he can’t track down lob entries with how he was moving in the second half. What all of this means is that Charlotte will have zero offense – it all runs through Big Al. Let’s hope that he’s able to get a little better in the next few days and fight through this injury, because any success that this team has in this series will ultimately depend on Jefferson’s production.
- EDIT from Brett – I’m just going to leave this image here. This is a screenshot of MKG’s second “foul” on LeBron – I think MKG’s chest hit LeBron’s hand?
A reason for optimism for Charlotte – Miami probably doesn’t get that call in Charlotte (or MKG’s third foul either).