Editor’s note: With this installment of 3-on-3, we welcome a new contributor to QCH, Jenn. After a move from LA to the Queen City, Jenn will now be providing thoughts and analysis on the Bobcats (and I’ve avoided bringing up Kobe so far – I’ll leave riling up Lakers fans to Henry Abbott). And with that, on to the preview:
1- What big man does not see action tonight for the Bobcats? Biyombo and D.J. White have both had DNP-CD in recent outings, but might be someone else’s turn?
Mathew Lewis: Does Diop count? With Biyombo coming off a strong performance, while outside of Omer Asik the Bulls featuring big men more in the mold of power forwards, if I was to pin a DNP-CD on one of the Bobcats front court players it would have to be Diop.
Bryan Wendland: I think Biyombo has to play tonight. He did well against Dwight Howard, and the Bobcats need to play physical against Joakim Noah. D.J. White also needs to play, because the ‘Cats can’t afford to have his offense on the bench all night. If anyone’s not going to see the floor, it’s Diop. He scores less than a point and only grabs 3.4 rebounds per game.
Jenn: Derrick Brown. With the option to trade Tyrus Thomas looming, Bobcats management will be eager to determine whether or not Thomas is a long term solution for the franchise. That said, Brown may be forced to take a back seat.
2- Does Tyrus Thomas have his best game of the young season against his former club, or does his potential anxiety to show up the Bulls organization get the best of him?
Mathew Lewis: Yes and No. I think we see an increase in intensity out of Tyrus, though I only see this manifesting itself in the way of production on the defensive end. Thomas is not a refined offensive player so if he takes it upon himself to try and create more opportunities on the offensive end it could actually wind up impairing the Bobcats chances for a win.
Bryan Wendland: I don’t think either of those things happen. Thomas is probably going to have an ok night offensively (7-10 points) and come close to 10 rebounds. I’d probably jump out of my couch and have a happy heart-attack if he does go off tonight, though.
Jenn: Thomas will come out ablaze tonight, aiming to prove his worth to both his former squad and those that have questioned his commitment since his return. Thomas’ ability to dominate the board tonight will be integral to a Bobcats win.
3- Derrick Rose may miss his 4th straight game tonight – but the Bulls rolled over Cleveland and Phoenix without him coming into tonight. Do the Bobcats avoid a similar fate?
Mathew Lewis: No. The Bulls are still an above average team without Rose and they’re getting the Bobcats at home. Rip Hamilton recently returned for Chicago as well, giving them a boost on the offensive end in Rose’s absence.
Bryan Wendland: Even without Rose, the bulls are still much better than Charlotte. The Bobcats can keep it close if they shut down the lane on defense and force the Bulls to become a jump shooting team. Only four Bulls shoot better than 33 percent from behind the arc, so tonight would be a good time to feature the zone.
Jenn: No. Although Rose is the heart of the franchise, the strength and seniority of Boozer and Deng will create a formidable matchup for the young Bobcats squad. In order for the Bobcats to fare well in this matchup veterans Augustin and Thomas will need to lead the rookie squad both on and off the court.