Playoff Preview: Heat-Bobcats Game 4

The NBA Playoffs continue at 7 p.m. on TNT as the Bobcats host the Heat hoping to avoid a series sweep in the Eastern Conference first round. Before each game, we will have a quick preview of the upcoming game with a matchup to watch and a stat to chew on as you watch the game.

Previously on Lost:

This was the easiest, most dominant victory the Heat had yet. They suffocated the Bobcats offense and trapped and turned them over more than they have before. This was a complete performance for Miami. More than just enough to win as it had been in the first two games.

LeBron James was brilliant, but not overly so and the defense collapsed in on Al Jefferson after a strong first quarter. They seemed to feed off the Charlotte crowd, specifically its silence as things got out of hand.

Matchup to Watch: Chris Bosh vs. Josh McRoberts

Chris Bosh has quietly been the most consistent player for the Heat this series. Really, he has gone about his business quietly the entire season in Miami. Bosh is not a superstar anymore, but he remains a very, very good player.

In this series, Bosh is averaging 13.7 points per game and is hitting 72.7 percent of his 3-pointers. 72.7 PERCENT! His 3-point shots are what the Bobcats are deciding to give up when it comes to the Heat defense. And Bosh has made them pay. There have been so many open jumpers for Bosh and he seems to hit every one.

Is that on Josh McRoberts? He has had to give a lot of help to the defense to keep LeBron James out of the paint. And he has done a decent job himself this postseason with 12.0 points per game and a robust 58.3 percent 3-point field goal percentage. It seems unfair to ask more from him. He already seems to be doing all he can. But that is what has to happen for the Bobcats to win.

ChrisBoshHeat_AlJeffersonBobcats030314Stat to Chew On: Winless Bobcats

The Bobcats are now 0-7 in franchise history in the Playoffs. This is their second Playoff appearance after they got swept by the Magic in 2010. It looks like the Bobcats are on their way to 0-8 and two straight sweeps.

The longest losing streak for a team before getting its first Playoff win is 12 from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The Grizzlies were swept int he first round three straight years (their first Playoff series win was that epic upset over the Spurs as an 8-seed in 2011).

The Bobcats are still at least a year away from matching that mark. But that is not a stat you want to be associated with. Even as a really young franchise.

Bloggers Corner:

Earnest Christian, Hot Hot HoopsYes, the back to back NBA champs have done their due diligence, stayed the course and with a 98-85 Game 3 victory Saturday night they have now pushed the competitive, yet clearly overmatched, Charlotte Bobcats to the brink of playoff elimination. In fact Miami is the only team thus far to reach this point in their respective series.

Ben Swanson of Rufus on FireThe Heat did what they needed to win, which was to shut down the Bobcats’ limited offense, and they put the clamps on as they rolled to a double-digit victory with saddening ease. But I had thought Miami would do that in Game 2. Instead it came tonight, to the chagrin of the home crowd, which was energized early.

Philip’s Running Prediction: This series has gone as expected. The Bobcats put up a good effort and a good fight, but they do not have the horses on either side of the ball to keep up with the Heat. That goes double now that they are getting more dialed in as the series has gone on. Sorry, Charlotte, Miami has this one in four.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily