Bobcats vs Sixers Preview: Things to watch « Queen City Hoops

Bobcats vs Sixers Preview: Things to watch

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Philadelphia 76ers

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 17-57 98.2 (28) 109.6 (30) 94.2 (15)
Philadelphia 30-43 99.5 (26) 102.9 (14) 93.1 (21)

Previous Meetings:
2012/11/30 – 98-104 – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: Byron Mullens (Status unknown), Ramon Sessions (OUT)
Philadelphia: Jason Richardson (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats 76ers
PG Kemba Walker Jrue Holiday
SG Gerald Henderson Evan Turner
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Damien Wilkins
PF Josh McRoberts Thaddeus Young
C Bismack Biyombo Spencer Hawes
6th Man Ben Gordon Lavoy Allen

Thoughts from the QCH Panel –

Greg: The 76ers are going to be well-rested coming into this one; in fact, their last game was Saturday’s 100-92 win over the Bobcats. Like you’d think, they play a lot better when they get some time off. This year, Philadelphia is 12-8 in games when they have at least two days of rest; they’re 18-35 in all other games. There’s obviously a lot at play in deciding those wins and losses, but having fresh legs can help a lot at this point in the season.

Saturday’s matchup was relatively competitive, but it took an ultra-efficient night from MKG (21 points on 9-of-11 shooting) to keep things close. Most of those points came near the rim on hustle plays — which is a little surprising, as Philadelphia is typically solid at defending the restricted area and the paint. It’ll be interesting to see if he can repeat that performance.

Spencer: Charlotte played well in Phila on Saturday night — the Bobcats outscored the Sixers in the paint 48-42, only turned the ball over 10 times and shot 50% from the field. The straw that broke the camels back was the 14-23 (60.9%) from the free throw line — not good enough to win on any level. To add to that note, Hendo only got to the FT 5 times for the game, only converting on 2 of those attempts.

Phila is good at slowing the game down and forcing teams to execute in the half court — not Charlotte’s desired tempo. Tonight the Bobcats have to be able to find a healthy mixture of speeding the game up and getting stops in the half court, defensively.

Prediction: 98-95 Bobcats

Mathew: Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer looked at a few of the possible reasons the Bobcats have decided to give Tyrus Thomas some run after 25 consecutive games of inactivity. He touches on two rather clear motives – to see what the Bobcats have in him moving forward and to showcase his trade value for the rest of the league. Although he does admit a trade is unlikely (Bobcats would be forced to take back other bad contracts in exchange for Thomas), I think the most probably outcome is Thomas getting amnestied in the offseason. Therefore, the incentive is to showcase (please note, a loose interpretation of the word) him in the hopes that another team sees something worth bidding for, as any salary paid to Thomas by another team would offset the sum owed to him by the Bobcats. Let’s hope for no more 3-point attempts (if you didn’t see the play last game, check the box score) the rest of the season from T-Time – it certainly won’t help the Bobcats cause.

Harabalos Voulgaris is probably the most successful NBA bettor in the world. If you don’t know who he is, just read this. He even spent a brief stint working for an unnamed NBA franchise. This guy is not some degenerate – he loves the NBA and knows his stuff. Therefore, this response to a tweet from Rick Bonnell intrigued me. I knew the Bobcats were one of the worst teams in the league at defending the corner 3 (last in opponent makes, second to last in attempts, and third to last in percentage), which is one of the most efficient shots in the game. However, outside of slow rotations and bad team defense I hadn’t really considered the reasons for their struggles from a strategic standpoint. If Voulgaris’ eye for strategy is correct (I trust it is), you can understand Dunlap’s decision to a degree given the Bobcats’ struggles in the half court. He’s essentially risking more open attempts from the corners for the reward of having guys ready to get out on the break. However, given the tone of Voulgaris’ tweet, I think one can assume he views this strategy as a losing bet. One guy makes his money coaching on the floor. Another makes it from his living room. So who’s right? Something to keep an eye on as you watch tonight.

Doug Collins could very well be coaching for his job from here on out. A loss to the Bobcats could cement his fate and induce another bleep-laden postgame rant from the Sixers coach. There’s something worth cheering for.

4 comments to Bobcats vs Sixers Preview: Things to watch

  • David_C_Hornets

    if doug collins does get fired by philly, i would really like to see dunlap go and replaced by collins.

  • charlottean

    i agree with the tweet regarding dunlap’s strategy.

    I HOPE that what dunlap is doing is phase 1 of 3. Get the young guys scoring in transition until their half court skills catch up with them. Get them defending the pick and roll as a unit (learning to ride a bike with training wheels) until they can do so as 2 man units with some help.

    if this is the final phase of dunlap’s scheme then I’m not as big on him as a coach as I have thought I am. I just don’t think that’s the case. I think he knows his roster can’t play 100% of the game the right way so he isolates what they CAN do and builds on it. Which is not good coaching, it’s GREAT coaching. hopefully.

    • SDS/Spencer

      Great Coaching for Building a team…not great coaching if you already have a team^^, but he doesn’t so it is “great” coaching

      my main bite with Dunlap i his placement of minutes on some of the youngens (mainly Biyombo and MKG) he isn’t allowing them to play through mistakes or when we are behind (tries to score as much as he can and it relates to worse defense as well, and usually the scorers arn’t future builders) other then that i don’t mind him

      I would Like Biz, MKG playing at least 30 a night here on out and Taylor getting around 24 a night (switching roles with Gordon) Taylors main bite on scoring compared to Gordon is to score off the dribble of pull up and shoot…but i’m confident he is close if not as good as a spot up shooter as Gordon…also i think Dunlap needs to try and talk to some of these guys on when, and when not to pump fake…against the Bucks it was just like pump fake after pump fake allowing Bucks to close in on them and losing their chance to get an easy open shot…

  • charlottean

    I agree but I wonder if some of that is mandated by cho and co.

    We have to remember that MKG is 19, 82 games is a LOOOOOOONG season for a kid who just played…..~40-45 last year and probably 30-40 the year before (not counting AAU games which is not the same, not to mention high school games are 8 minute quarters in most areas)

    so the guy played 1245 minutes last year and he’s at 1807 and climbing this year with him playing limited minutes and having had some injuries. I think the team would be in their right mind limiting his minutes a bit for the first 2 years to avoid injuries. We may feel like he’s benching him because of fouls or lack of production when he plays 16 first half minutes and only 6 second half minutes or something along those lines, but he might just be hitting his “pitch count” early so to speak and letting the small lineup close with the idea that it’s our best chance at winning anyways (which has become not the case).

    I may just be justifying all the problems I have with dunlap because I feel like he knows better. Most coaches don’t give me that kind of instinct to or even a reasonable way of justifying their “errors” or things I don’t really agree with.