Jeremy Lin and the rest of the Hornets will try to bounce back in Game 2 of the Charlotte-Miami series on Wednesday.
It didn't help that Charlotte's best player at the time, center Al Jefferson, injured his foot in the first game and was a shell of himself by the end of the series, eventually forced to sit out the fourth and deciding game. As we've seen from another current postseason series out West, Miami needs to not make the same mistake.
And with a franchise record for points, the Heat are off to a flying playoff start.
"But I feel a lot of things he got were just blown coverages and things that we have to clean up". While their stretched-out offense and versatile defense are decidedly trendy, the Hornets' star-less collective is rather unconventional in the National Basketball Association.
A playoff series might as well be one big research project to Steve Clifford. "We got to regroup ourselves". "If Deng and Whiteside are going to combine for those kind of numbers, then it'll be hard for us to win".
Expect great urgency from the road teams Wednesday, since it's clear what 0-2 deficit means in the postseason.
The HEAT jumped out to a 41-22 lead after the first quarter behind the work of Luol Deng, who scored 14 points. Joe Johnson did the same with 11 points of his own.
"The shots I took (Sunday) night are the shots I've been taking all year", he said.
"We know how good we can be; there are games we've shown that".
The Hornets built a team good enough to tie the Heat (and the Hawks and the Celtics) in regular-season wins (48) by being different. They finished the season 7-3 in their last ten games, having condemned the Heat to their only home loss in the month of March.
On average, Miami attempts 18.0 three-pointers and Charlotte attempts 29.0 per game.
That system "makes a big difference", Clifford said.
MORE FUEL TO THE FIRE: Both of the Clippers' playoff series the previous year against San Antonio and Houston were decided in seven games. But Heat coach Erik Spoelstra doesn't want his team thinking anything came easily.
"The things we made mistakes on are correctible", Charlotte's Marvin Williams said. "Kenny understands it. We're confident that Kenny will be totally focused, just like our players".
It was about the only time they couldn't cheer all night. The Charlotte Hornets are shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 78.4 percent from the free throw line. Names like Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade, and Goran Dragic were mentioned often.
The NBA playoffs are supposed to be the time when the casual approach many teams take in the regular season goes out the window. Someone should've passed that memo along to the Charlotte Hornets before they played inside of the American Airlines Arena in their opening game of the playoffs on Sunday. The Heat set the tone in the first quarter, outscoring the Hornets in the paint, 20-4. The Heat are 21-19 in Game 1s.
The Heat won a playoff game by dominating the glass, grabbing 42 rebounds compared to just 28 for the Hornets.
If the Heat play like that nearly every game, with everyone doing their share and Luol Deng playing a big role, their ceiling is very high.