1- FACT or FICTION: Tyrus Thomas expected to return to the court tonight. He will see 20+ minutes of action.
Spencer Percy: FICTION. Silas has not been able to say enough good things about D.J. White since he stepped into the starting lineup opening night. White has a very high basketball IQ, meaning he understands his role on the court and is efficient in executing it. White is 3rd in the NBA in FG% (61.2%) currently. Tyrus is still considered a franchise player in Charlotte because of his contract, but don’t be mistaken, he will have to earn his minutes back.
Bryan Wendland: FACT. Even though the Bobcats rank sixth in the NBA in rebounding, they field one of the smaller front courts in basketball. With career per 36 numbers of 9.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, Thomas will help bolster that front court against an equally small (and tired) Hawks front court.
Brett Hainline: FICTION – DJ White has earned the starting spot with his play, and Bismack still needs a few minutes a night to learn to not jump at every pump fake.
2- FACT or FICTION: Corey Maggette out for 2-4 weeks with left hamstring strain. Maggette’s injury means a significant increase in playing time for Kemba Walker.
Spencer Percy: FACT. Derrick Brown will start in the place of Maggette while he’s out, but Brown is certainly limited offensively. Can draw contact well, like Maggette, but has not proved to be efficient from the charity stripe (59.6% career; 44.4% season). Kemba, on the other hand will be an asset offensively and a liability defensively. Silas will implement more Augustin/Walker lineups according to opposition’s rotations. This is definitely going to turn into a night-to-night strategy rotation in Charlotte, but expect to see more Kemba.
Mathew Lewis: Fact. If 5-10 minutes is significant, then yes. Kemba and Derrick Brown will more than likely see the greatest increase in minutes with Maggette out.
Brett Hainline: FICTION – As well as DJ Augustin and Gerald Henderson have played, the bulk of the guard minutes are accounted for – and the DJ/Kemba backcourt pairing has not faired well so far, getting outscoring by 16 in just 17 minutes of court time. ATL with Joe Johnson at the 2 also doesn’t give the Cats a chance to go small.
3- FACT or FICTION: After last night’s three overtime marathon the Hawks will come out flat, giving Bobcats the upper hand tonight in the cable box.
Brett Hainline: FACT – The Hawks couldn’t take out the short-handed Heat last night, and the only ATL starter who didn’t see at least 40 minutes was Marvin Williams. The Hawks bench did contribute a good bit last night with Ivan Johnson and Willie Green provided an unexpected boost, so if they play similarly tonight, it could offset the starters fatigue.
Bryan Wendland: FACT. Not only did the Hawks finish a triple overtime game last night, their matchup with the Bobcats is their fourth game in five days. Four of Atlanta’s five starters played over 40 minutes Thursday night and their starting backcourt combined to play 96 minutes. Charlotte loves to get out and run, and they’ll look to take Atlanta’s tired legs out of the game early in transition.
Mathew Lewis: Fact. I don’t know if they will come out flat emotionally (flat is a relative word when used in reference to the Hawks) given Coach Drew and Al Horford really got on the rest of the players for their lack of effort last night against the LeBron/D Wade-less Heat; however, I do think Atlanta will come out flat from an energy and conditioning standpoint. An extra 15 minutes of play on the first night of a back-to-back-to-back is sure to have its ramifications, especially within a shortened season such as this.