Brett Hainline: Tyrus Thomas. At least DeMar is still earning some minutes and putting up something in them (even if he is shooting under 40% from the floor). Tyrus hasn’t been able to move Boris to the bench and is somehow shooting worse than DeMar even.
Mathew Lewis: DeMar DeRozan. Both have certainly been disappointments so far this season, but I’ll give the nod to DeRozan, as Toronto was expecting more out of him relative to Charlotte and Thomas. Much of Tyrus Thomas’ lack of production can be attributed to effort – which is disappointing in it of itself – while DeRozan appears to have simply regressed.
Spencer Percy: Tyrus Thomas. DeRozan still logs minutes for Toronto and still averages 15.2 PPG this season. Tyrus has been bad in just about every aspect of the game this season and I believe he’s at least entered the conversation as an amnesty candidate in the Bobcats front office.
2. Both teams rank in the bottom 4 in the league in scoring (Bobcats 30th, Raptors 27th). Which team will have the edge offensively tonight?
Brett Hainline: Toronto. During their losing streak, the Bobcats have managed better than a point per possession exactly once. While Toronto has been pretty streaky themselves, streaky is still better than awful.
Mathew Lewis: Bobcats. Sans injured Andrea Bargnani a bad Raptors offense has gotten even worse. Therefore, a rare check in the Bobcats’ column.
Spencer Percy: Toronto. Speaking of DeRozan and his struggles- if there’s a night to break out of his slump it’s tonight against the league’s worst defense. Toronto’s PG Jose Calderon, who was almost a Bobcat two years ago before Jordan backed out of the deal at the last second, has been putting up big numbers lately (19.4 PPG, 11 APG last 5 games) and I definitely think he’ll have his way against Augustin and Kemba.
3. Better odds: Bobcats break their losing streak tonight or Jeremy Lin records a triple double against the Hornets.
Brett Hainline: I’ll take the Bobcats – but just barely. Jeremy Lin has topped out at 6 rebounds so far this season, so getting to 10 is a big jump. So is the Bobcats finally ending a 16 game losing streak – but the Bobcats are a bit healthier again, and Mike D’Antoni showed a willingness to rest Jeremy in the Knicks blowout win over the Kings – the Hornets could be in for a similar fate.
Mathew Lewis: Both (OMG #LINSANITY!!!) – just kidding. Bobcats winning. I actually like their chances tonight, as I was encouraged by the effort Wednesday at Minnesota. Sometimes it simply takes heading north of the boarder to get your medicine.
Spencer Percy: Bobcats breaking the losing streak. New Orleans isn’t a good defensive team by any stretch of the imagination, but they tend to hold teams to respectable numbers from time-to-time because of their pace- I don’t see Lin going triple-double against them. I just don’t believe that a Bargnani-less Raptors team is that much better than a Bobcats one that is closing in on full strength.
- Mathew will be working the game as part of ESPN.com’s Daily Dime coverage – follow him (and the rest of the THN crew) on Twitter under the handles: @DimeAlert, @DimeSmash, and @DimeUpdate
- Toronto could still be missing Linas Klieza, Andrea Bargnani, and Jerryd Bayless
- The Bobcats are still without Gerald Henderson