1. The Bobcats field two of the league’s better shot blockers, in Bismack Biyombo and Tyrus Thomas. Against Toronto, Bismack sent back 7, and earlier this year, T-Time rejected 9 against the Wizards. Who gets more tonight?
Bryan: Biyombo. He’s going to get more minutes than Thomas tonight and he tries to swat everything the opposing team throws at the rim. Bismack’s gotten a little bit better at not jumping at every shot-fake, but his aggressive defensive mentality will lead to at least a few blocks tonight.
Jenn: Biyombo. The rookie is seeing more playing time and is showing his worth to the franchise. Thomas, on the other hand, has not been a consistent defensive force this season.
Spencer Percy: Biyombo. I don’t know if Tyrus will see the floor enough to be able to compete with Bismack anytime soon considering the way he has played and the fact that Silas has summoned him to a limited role off the bench.
2. The Bobcats have no one player who is expected to lead the team in scoring night after night. For the season, Gerald Henderson and Kemba Walker have led the team in scoring 6 times a piece, the most on the team. With Gerald still out, and D.J. Augustin and Byron Mullens with 5 and 4 nights respectively, who leads the team in points tonight?
Bryan: I’ll go with Corey Maggette… Painfully and with a ton of doubt in my mind… The Pacers are big inside, so Kemba might not be able to scoop and score as much as he’s used to (same goes for Augustin). Also, Mullens isn’t going to look too smooth against Roy Hibbert, so that leaves Reggie Williams and Maggette. If Maggette takes the ball to the rim and put himself on the free-throw line consistently, he could have a 25 point type of night.
Jenn: He’s not on the list, but I think Reggie Williams will lead the team tonight. After scoring 22 points against the Raptors, trust that Williams will come out with confidence tonight.
Spencer Percy: Maggette should be the favorite to lead this team in scoring just about every night for one reason- he gets to the foul line more than anyone else. Since returning to the starting lineup last Saturday night against the Clippers, Maggette has already earned trips to the foul line 29 times and is averaging 7.25 FTA in those four games. When you get more free/unguarded shots than anyone else, you should lead the team in scoring.
3. After a strong start to the season, Indiana has faltered, losing 6 of their last 8. <sarcasm>The Bobcats come in to tonight’s game hot (for them) winning one in a row.</sarcasm> Who comes out the victor tonight?
Bryan: Regardless of what the talking heads on Sportscenter have to say, the biggest reason for the Bobcats’ losing streak was 3/5 of their starting lineup getting injured. Now the ‘Cats are almost at full strength and playing better than they have in a long time. Still, the Pacers are way better than Charlotte, so I can’t pick Paul Silas’s squad in this one.
Jenn: Pacers. The Pacers have an overall stronger team- expect Granger and West to put up a strong offensive front.
Spencer Percy: Neither of these teams shoot the ball great from the field- both rank bottom five in the league in Effective FG%. Indiana and Charlotte also both use about the same amount of possessions per game (CHA-93.9 & IND-94.3), so the winner of this game will likely be the team who takes better care of the basketball. The Bobcats have done a much better job in the rebounding category as of late. All that being said, the Pacers have been playing uninspired basketball of late, but what better opportunity to turn it around as the worst team in basketball comes into your building. Pacers.