Bobcats vs Timberwolves Preview: 3-on-3 with AWAW « Queen City Hoops

Bobcats vs Timberwolves Preview: 3-on-3 with AWAW

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Minnesota Timberwolves

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:30 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 10-32 98.8 (28) 108.2 (29) 94.6 (12)
Minnesota 17-23 99.6 (25) 102.3 (13) 94.5 (13)

Previous Meetings:
2012/11/14 – 88-87 – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: Byron Mullens (OUT)
Minnesota: Nikola Pekovic (OUT), Alexy Shved (OUT), Kevin Love (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Timberwolves
PG Kemba Walker Luke Ridnour
SG Gerald Henderson Ricky Rubio
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Andrei Kirilenko
PF Hakim Warrick Derrick Williams
C Bismack Biyombo Greg Stiemsma
6th Man Ramon Sessions Dante Cunningham

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1- STATS: Charlotte and Minnesota have a lot of similarities — They play a nearly identical PACE (94.6; 94.5) and both struggle in offensive efficiency, so it’s safe to presume both teams are seeking easy, fast break baskets every game. Does that make the key stat tonight taking care of the basketball? The team that turns the rock over more gives the opposing team more possessions and chances in the open court, therefore putting them over the top?

Spencer: I certainly think that the Bobcats need to think about two things tonight. Pressuring the basketball and jumping to help on dribble penetration, forcing Minny to settle for outside shots. I know, I know, Charlotte is terrible at defending the 3, but this is a beat up T’Wolves team that doesn’t really have any shooters to space the floor with. Pressuring Rubio and Barea while keeping them away from the rim will be the key to the game, defensively, for the Cats.

Brett: It could be a toss-up between turnovers and offensive rebounding.  The Wolves are weak at the Bobcats’ weakness (defending the three), as Minnesota is the worst shooting team from long range in the league (29%).  Unfortunately for Charlotte, they’re among the best in offensive rebound rate – though that is presumably built somewhat on Pekovic and Love, who won’t be playing tonight.  So, turnovers it is – it’s the Bobcats way to negate their opponents usual advantage on the glass.

Steve McPherson (A Wolf Among Wolves): Here’s the thing: I looked at the Wolves and Wizards stats yesterday and saw a similar pace and a similar problem with offensive efficiency, yet the Wolves actually bettered the Wizards in both fast break points (13 to 6) and in second chance points (25 to 11). The turnovers were about even, with 17 for Minnesota leading to 15 points and 16 for Washington leading to 13 points. But Minnesota lost, and largely because the Wizards shot 58% and the Wolves (of course) only managed 21% from 3-point land. The problem for the Wolves right now without Pekovic and Shved is that they have neither the depth nor the talent to do multiple things well. Any amount of effort in one area seems to completely sap their effort in another, and I don’t think this is a simple matter of more effort overall. This doesn’t mean they can’t win, just that it takes a near-perfect storm of work from them and the other team falling apart. Case in point, their victory over Houston, where they still shot atrociously from distance but won because Houston has hit the skids. Bottom line: It’s hard to tell what’s going to be the weak link for the Wolves (free throw shooting, long distance shooting, second chance points, fastbreak points), but it’s safe to say if it look bad early for them in any major area, it will stay bad and the Bobcats can capitalize.

2- DERRICK WILLIAMS: What is Minnesota going to do with the former #2 overall pick. In his second season, he hasn’t improved too much statistically, except in the 3-point shooting category. Williams shot 26.8% last season and took 138 total 3′s — this season he’s currently shooting 34.2% from deep and is on track to take about 10 more 3′s, overall this season. Will the Wolves eventually ship away Williams to a desperate contender for a future asset, or are they going to have to sleep in the same bed for awhile?

Spencer: Williams is tricky- he’s a #2 pick that’s value is far from that right now, so I think that Minny is going to have to stick with him and hope that he figures it out within the next few seasons. What everyone thought might be the case with Williams when evaluating him out of college looks to be true now — a super athletic 3/4, but one who’s outside shooting numbers were misleading in college, struggles to defend smaller/quicker SF’s and bigger PF’s. If he finds a true position and tones the aspects of his game that he’s already above average at then he can be an arguable starter in this league.

Brett: It seems like Derrick Williams may be another Michael Beasley case (without the pot implications) – talented scorer in college who was able to dominate due to a size/athleticism advantage that they can’t replicate in the NBA.  If Williams is able to continue to improve his three-point shooting improvement, he’ll be all right and Minnesota will likely try to hold onto him – but his current contributions are probably not what they thought they’d be getting (just like Miami and Beasley – though he’s continued to underwhelm with Minny and now Phoenix).

Steve: Sometimes the little lights shine brighter in the darkest stretches, and that’s been the case for Williams since Love went down and assistant coach Terry Porter has had to step while Rick Adelman deals with a family matter. It was no secret that Adelman didn’t seem to have much confidence in Williams, so perhaps Porter’s stint has given him a greater opportunity, although you’d have to figure with Love going out it was almost inevitable. Whatever the reason, his decision-making has looked crisper, as have his moves in general on the court. He still blows his share of close-range shots and takes his share of ill-advised jumpers, but I think he’s shown enough (and there have been enough question marks about Love’s future with the franchise) that the team would be ill-advised to offload him this season for pennies on the dollar. With all their injury woes to both stars and key role players, I don’t think the Wolves are a few pieces from contending or even making the playoffs. I know a lot of fans are still in WIN NOW mode, but I’d rather they use the rest of this season to conscientiously develop their players and team.

3- PICK IT: Is this the night the Bobcats snap the home losing streak (16 games)? The Wolves stumble in on the heels of a loss in Washington last night and are without Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Alexy Shved.

Spencer: I like the Bobcats tonight. This Minnesota team is just too banged up right now and they’re coming off a loss in Washington last night. Charlotte has competed at home as of late, just have shown all their deficiencies at the end of games. Tonight, the beaten and bruised T’Wolves deficiencies will outshine the Cats. 98-95 Bobcats.

Brett: I’ll take the Bobcats to break their slide against an injury riddled team that will struggle to exploit the Bobcats’ biggest vulnerability.  If Minny is able to convert the open threes the Bobcats will concede, I’ll be wrong – but it doesn’t seem like a bad bet.

Steve: The Wolves looked absolutely tragic last night against the Wizards. At the beginning of the season, they impressed everyone by gutting out a decent record without Love and Rubio, then struggled to get Love back into the offense, then found that Rubio, while able to play, was not back to his old form yet. They kept hanging in there, but Adelman’s absence may be the straw that has broken their back. Couple that with Pek and Shved not being available and I have little reason not to expect another visit to Blood Bath & Beyond for this team tonight. I predict a 105-93 victory for the ‘Cats that doesn’t look even that close.

4 comments to Bobcats vs Timberwolves Preview: 3-on-3 with AWAW

  • charlottean

    Great post matchup with pekovic out.

    If williams had been drafted elsewhere, he would look like a stud. Sure he’s a tweener, but what’s the difference between he and rudy gay? He’s more skilled than gerald wallace was at his age, and better built. Wallace is better defensively but williams’ offense and build offsets that.

    If he had slipped to 4 and tristan thompson gone 2nd, he would look just as good in cleveland if not better than thompson. Where you get drafted is way more important than when. Beasley is huge proof of that.

    I would love to get derrick williams. He and mkg could play the 3/4 pretty well in collaboration. Look at how turner looked once they moved igoudala. Thats how williams would look if he was the guy instead of filling in for love.

  • David_C_Hornets

    im still now sold on derrick williams. the difference between him and rudy gay is that rudy can actually score and defend the 3. derrick williams is too slow and big to guard 3s such as carmelo, p.peirce, lebron, kevin durant, u name em. moving him to the 4 only makes it worse cause hes too small to defend anybody at that position. david west will have a field day with him. if he cant defend the 3/4? what makes u think he will be able to create an offensive game at that position? 3s are faster than him and 4s are bigger than him.

    i’d admit that he’ll be good for a team that plays small ball but that just limits what your team can do. hes better than most if not all the 4s we have on our roster but then we’re limited to just playing small ball.

  • Spencer/SDS

    Biyombo with a good game…^^
    Williams i wouldn’t mind giving up a 2nd rounder or two for…he has potential at least^^, anyways…thank GOD Warrick stopped getting paying time…but then it went to T-Time…(did Warrick get hurt?)

    Adrien didn’t have a good game, rebounding or anywhere really:(, but hey, i would rather him play then Warrick, hopefuly T-Time gets back to shape from pre-season (early), at least make him somewhat below average for trade scenarios,

    EVERY GUARD shot well, not enough Taylor or MKG thou…Taylor i get with everyone else at the 2 doing amazing, and a lineup of Kemba, Sessions/Gordon and Henderson dominated the game he got kicked out…but just let MKG FOUL OUT!!!, let the dude play till he fouls out, he had 2 more to play with…and since he isn’t in your (dunlaps) plan at the end of the game then why even take him out???…let him play man:(-wouldn’t have minded seeing him play PF a lot in this game, having favorable match-ups guarding a combo of Dwill and Cunningham, both average post players at best and more in the shooting form

  • charlottean

    ^^^ agree.

    As for williams, i think david west gives EVERYBODY fits. I think williams can guard a lot of 4′s in this league. You don’t even have to start him, bring him off the bench and let him dominate against 2nd teams. That would be a great role for him here with mullens starting. He’s the kind of guy that fits well with this group of walker, biz, henderson, taylor, mkg, mullens that we have. He won’t be expected to do much of anything but be better than warrick/thomas which he can no doubt be.

    Rudy gay can score now, but it wasn’t like he came in the league ballin. Williams has had big games last year and this but gets opportunities here and there. Gay got handed reins.