This might not be how Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson planned it, but playing the Miami Heat suits him just fine.

“It’s gonna be a dog fight playing against the defending champions,” Jefferson said after Wednesday’s 91-86 overtime victory against the Chicago Bulls. “We’ve been underdogs ever since I’ve been here and it’s worked so far.”

This unpredictable season took one more odd turn when the Bobcats beat the Bulls for the first time in four tries this season, only to see the Washington Wizards wipe out the Boston Celtics 118-102. Washington’s victory kept the Bobcats from ascending to sixth in the East and playing the Toronto Raptors.

Game 1 of the Bobcats-Heat series will be Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at American Airlines Arena. The game will be nationally televised on ABC (WSOC channel 9 in Charlotte). This is the Bobcats’ first ABC appearance.

The Bobcats (43-39) have the considerable challenge of facing a team they have not beaten in the past 16 attempts. The Bobcats are 0-for-Heat since LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed there in the summer of 2010.

However, the games were closer this season. The Bobcats held a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter in Miami in early December, only to see Bosh hit three unexpected 3-pointers to salvage a one-point victory. Later in the season the Bobcats took the Heat to overtime.