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It’s official: Bobcats’ Al Jefferson out for Game 4 Monday vs. Heat

Apr 28, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

Charlotte Bobcats v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

UPDATE 6:50 pm: Bobcat’s coach Steve Clifford made it official — Al Jefferson is out for Game 4 Monday night. Bismack Biyombo gets the start in his place.

Clifford said if this were the regular season Jefferson would have been out 2-3 weeks at least, but he tried to play through it.

12:15 pm: Al Jefferson had the kind of season that should land him on an All-NBA team (second or more likely third). He has been brilliant inside averaging 21.8 points (shooting 50.9 percent) and 10.8 rebounds a game and leading the Bobcats all the way to the playoffs.

But because of a very painful strained plantar fascia (the connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot), he has not moved well since the playoffs started and his scoring has suffered (18.7 points a game on 49 percent shooting). Jefferson and the Bobcats have fought gamely, but they trail the Heat 3-0 heading into Monday night’s game.

A game Jefferson appears likely to sit out, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Jefferson skipped the Monday shootaround due to the foot pain.

“He couldn’t do anything this morning. I would say it’s doubtful he’d be able to play,” (Bobcats’ coach Steve) Clifford said…

Asked about his level of pain, Jefferson said, “This has been like stepping on nails. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody….

“Regardless of what happens (tonight), this has been a wonderful season,” Jefferson said. “We need to continue to build and continue to get better.”

Jefferson is the Bobcats MVP and without him, and with the Heat likely focused to end this round and get some rest before facing the Bulls or Wizards, this may well be the end of the season for Charlotte.

It’s a season they should be proud of — they defended well for Clifford, they played hard, they took smart advantage of the assets they had. Charlotte set a foundation they can build on, and they made the postseason. It’s a year they can be proud of.

It’s a season Jefferson should be proud of as well. No matter how it ends.

  1. jeffcor7 - Apr 28, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Love the Cats and their improvements, but getting swept in the first round really makes you wonder if this upsurge will be a long term setback. They finally get out of the lottery in a year where the number ten pick is likely to be more NBA ready than MKG or Zeller were, who were taken 2nd and 4th. They have a lot of heart and Clifford is clearly a solid coach, but they still need better starters at shooting guard, small forward and power forward. That’s not likely to happen unless Kemba can duplicate the sales pitch be laid on Big Al to some other top level talent.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      A long term setback would be forgoing the establishment of a winning culture for another stab at the lottery. They’ve been there, done that with the lottery. It was time for them to get to work and to stop relying on the hope of hitting the jackpot in the draft.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        You’re absolutely correct, antistratfordian. I was a huuuge Hornets fan as a kid like most people in this city, but after Shinn stole the team away the city stopped caring about pro basketball. If the Bobcats had kept aiming for the lottery we might have lost the team to Seattle. This year I actually got a few of my friends to watch Bobcats games with me so that’s cool. We might even sell a game out that doesn’t have LeBron or Kobe in it.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      We don’t have our first round pick this year anyway. We have Detroit’s probably. Chicago has ours I think.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 28, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      Break out the Broom!!!

  2. senorpapino - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    The future is actually not bad for this team, especially if they luck out and can get the Pistons 1st round pick. Two picks in the top 16 and 20 million in cap room would allow them to make a serious push next year in the weak East.

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