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3-on-3 (1 sub) Preview: Bobcats vs Rockets

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network

1- FACT or FICTION. Tonight’s matchup with Jordan Hill would be the perfect opportunity for Byron Mullens to make debut in starting lineup.

Spencer Percy: FACT. I am confused as to why Silas has given Diop the nod in the past two games. He’s out of shape, hasn’t earned anything, and just slows down Bobcats pace. Mullens on the other hand is a great offensive asset and although he’s got to get more physical on the block, what’s the reason in not starting him and him getting valuable experience now? I think he gets the start tonight, has a 16 and 8 kind of night, and solidifies his role in the lineup. He’s earned the chance.

Mathew Lewis: FACT. Unless Silas decides to go back to Diaw I would expect to see Mullens starting at Center. At 2-7 the Bobcats would still like to be competitive, but more importantly they need to find out what they have in their young players, Mullens being one of them.

Brett Hainline: FICTION. Byron needs to earn the spot, by showing increased effort defensively and on the defensive boards – going into last night’s game, he had equal offensive and defensive rebound rates – nice on the offensive end, not so nice at the other.

2- FACT or FICTION. If you like offense and hate defense then you’ll get a bang for your buck tonight in the Cable Box. Charlotte and Houston field two of the worst defenses statistically in the NBA. CHA is 28th in defensive efficiency (107.3); HOU is dead last (30th, 108.1). Both teams combined will surpass 215 PTS tonight in a true shootout.

Brett Hainline: FICTION. Based on the team’s average paces, this game won’t have the possessions needed to get there, but it should be close.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the teams cross the 200 mark combined.

Bryan Wendland: FACT. Both teams could end up in the 105-110 range tonight. Also, even though neither ranks near the top of league in scoring, both teams know how to put the ball in the basket. The Rockets have just two players on their entire 15 man roster that shoot less than 40 percent from the field, and they like to get things done in the half-court (17th in pace). The Bobcats don’t shoot the ball as well as Houston, but they do like to get out in transition and score easy points.

Mathew Lewis: FICTION. Tonight’s box score will undoubtedly feature some inflated stat lines, but I think it’s a tad aggressive to expect 215 points. Houston is merely 19th in Pace so unless they completely relinquish the tempo of the game to the Bobcats I don’t see this happening.

3- FACT or FICTION. CHA and HOU are both awful defensively to this point in the season and neither field a stellar offensive efficient attack (HOU 11th; CHA 25th). The difference in this game will lie within the rebounding battle and since the Bobcats (45.4) are 4th in the NBA in RPG and the Rockets (39.6) are 27th, the nod goes to the Bobcats to snap their three game skid tonight.

Spencer Percy: FACT. The Bobcats will win the rebounding category by at least +7 and success will come. On the contrary, if CHA allows the Rockets to get on the offensive glass and generate second chances then HOU will bury them with outside shot. Rockets take 21.9 3FGA/game and shoot it at 35% from deep. Bobcats get it done on the glass and control the pace in this one, leading to second home win of season.

Brett Hainline: FICTION. The Bobcats are bad offensively and defensively, plus they’re coming home after a tough game in New York last night.  The Rockets are just bad defensively, but can score a bit and are rested, so they get the edge.

Bryan Wendland: FACT. Rebounding will be key for Charlotte in this one, but I like them to win for a different reason. The Rockets’ bigs are just as small as the Bobcats’ and I think the match-ups down low favor Charlotte across the board. Mullens (if Silas does the right thing and starts him) could have a big night against Hill, and when D.J. White and Boris Diaw are in the game together, the Rockets are going to have trouble deciding who to guard with Luis Scola and Chase Budinger.