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3-on-3 Preview: Bobcats at Blazers (Hey, Crash!)

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network1.  FACT or FICTION – Gerald Wallace’s performance tonight will cause Jordan & Co. to rue the day they shipped him out of the Queen City.

Spencer Percy: FICTION. Wallace could go for 50 & 50 tonight and I’m not sure that it’d much matter. The day that Jordan moved G-Dub to Rip City was the day he knew he was starting over with this franchise.

Bryan Wendland: Fact: I’m still not 100 percent sure that someone from Rip City didn’t slip something in Jordan’s drink before he ok’d that move. Wallace has already made ‘Cats management wish for a do-over, whether they’ll admit it or not, and tonight will just drive the nail down even further.

Jenn: FACT.  Wallace was the first and only franchise all star player.  Expect Wallace to capitalize on his familiarity with the team’s inner-workings to be a defensive threat tonight.  Further, his home shooting percentage, 63%, tops the league.  Given these facts, it’s easy to anticipate big things from Wallace tonight.

2.  Take Your Pick – Portland currently stands 7th in the NBA in Efficiency Differential , while the Bobcats are 30th. Which team has the better chance of moving up the ranks by season’s end?

Spencer Percy: Portland. And I’d even go as far to say that the Bobcats have a better chance to move down than Blazers. Sorry, zero optimism left in this guy.  (Editor’s note:  Last night’s loss moved the Bobcats from 29th to 30th, with this answer coming prior to that statistical update)

Bryan Wendland: Charlotte, IF Silas gives Biyombo more minutes and decides to play more zone when Augustin comes back. I don’t understand what made him go away from the zone in the first place. Plus, the top ten is just loaded with good defensive teams.

Jenn: Blazers.  Unless the Bobcats can negotiate some decent trades before the deadline, the remainder of the season does not look bright for Charlotte.

3.  Coming off a lopsided loss to the Lakers, what is the one area the Bobcats should primarily focus on to give the team an opportunity at a win tonight in Portland?

Spencer Percy: DEFENSE- Every single aspect of it. The Bobcats are so undermanned in the paint against just about every opponent that they’re forced to help down, leaving the floor susceptible for open shots which we saw the Lakers knock down in bunches last night.

Bryan Wendland: DEFENSE! I would say getting bigger and stronger so Lamarcus Aldridge doesn’t go ham in the paint, but that’s not going to happen overnight. So, tighten things up defensively, force some turnovers and let Kemba and Co. get out in transition.

Jenn: The ability to make open shots last night was a huge shortcoming for the Bobcats.  Walker needs to get the ball into the hands of a hot player tonight.  Countless shots cannot be wasted on player’s shooting below 35% as was seen on Tuesday.