Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Bobcats vs the Heat.
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami.
When: Sunday April 20, 20:30 BST
The odds are stacked against the Charlotte Bobcats as they head to the AA Arena for Game 1 of their opening round playoff series against the Miami Heat.
Miami have lost just four of their last 23 games against the Bobcats, while they are 15-0 since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teamed up which suggests that this should be a breeze for the defending champions.
However, they will not overlook Charlotte given their recent struggles to end the regular season as they bid to make it four straight trips to the NBA Finals, as coach Erik Spoelstra pointed that his team had to fight back from deficits in their last three encounters.
Al Jefferson has undoubtedly transformed the Bobcats into a team to be taken seriously, as he has averaged 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in his first season with the franchise.
Nevertheless, the difference in playoff experience could be key in this match-up, as seen in the Brooklyn Nets’ win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, with the Heat benefiting from 712 more playoff games between their players than those of the Bobcats.
James will also be a significant factor after being rested last week to overcome various niggles, while Wade looks to have shaken off a hamstring problem to ensure that the Big Three are all fit and raring to go.
However, they will have to find a way to limit Jefferson in order to avoid this becoming a closely-fought series, and that could be where Greg Oden comes into the equation.
Naturally, Miami are the clear favourites to take Game 1, particularly given that it is at home, however, Charlotte do have the pieces to make this more interesting that some people would assume.