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3-on-3 Preview: Bobcats at Spurs

Who: San Antonio Spurs vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Spurs Home Game

When: 8:30 PM ET

Where: Live at AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX.

Coverage: Fox Sports South

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
San Antonio 24-11 105.8 (5) 101.4 (16) 92.9 (17)
Charlotte 4-29 93.2 (30) 108.7 (29) 92.7 (19)

Previous Meetings:

San Antonio: Daniel Green (day-to-day), Manu Ginobili (day-to-day), T.J. Ford (out)

Charlotte: Corey Maggette (probable), Gerald Henderson (probable), Bismack Biyombo (day-to-day)

Starting Lineups

Spurs Bobcats
PG Tony Parker D.J. Augustin
SG Daniel Green Gerald Henderson
SF Richard Jefferson Corey Maggette
PF DeJuan Blair Boris Diaw
C Tim Duncan Byron Mullens – ?
6th Man Matt Bonner Kemba Walker

The Bobcats wrap up their quick two-game road trip tonight in San Antonio. Rookie Bismack Biyombo will be questionable after straining his right shoulder on Wednesday night in Detroit and this will make a thin Charlotte front court even thinner. Andrew McNeill stops by from the Spurs TrueHoop ’48 Minutes of Hell’ to break down tonight’s matchup.

1- Bismack Biyombo is listed as day-to-day with a strained right shoulder. Assuming he sits tonight, meaning either Byron Mullens or DeSagna Diop gets the start, is DeJuan Blair in for a career night?

Andrew McNeill: I wouldn’t say he’s in for a career night, he often struggles against much taller bigs, but he could be in for a lot of minutes. The this game ends up as lopsided as expected, Gregg Popovich won’t play Duncan for long stretches in this game, other than to start the contest. Blair should have plenty of opportunites to put up numbers.

Bryan Wendland: Silas has to start Mullens. There’s literally no point to starting Diop, because Mullens needs the experience if he’s going to figure into Charlotte’s longterm plans. That said, he is comically bad on defense, so Blair could have a monster night.

Spencer Percy: I think that Blair definitely has an above average night and if Mullens gets the start and sees 25+ minutes then just maybe a career night. If I were Silas it’d be a foregone conclusion to start Diop considering how incredibly bad Mullens has been defensively, as well as on an effort standpoint.

2- Who should have the responsibility of trying to slow down Tony Parker (19.1 PPG, 8.1 APG) more- D.J. Augustin or Kemba Walker?

Andrew: Admittedly, I haven’t watched a lot of the Bobcats this season. My first impression is that Augustin should get the bulk of the time defending Parker. One reason is that Augustin at least has some experience defending Parker and other great guards at the NBA level. The other is that I’m under the impression Augustin is quicker than Walker.

Bryan: Augustin. Even though he’s still a young guy, he’s more experienced than Kemba, and it just wouldn’t be fair to expect him to effectively guard Parker.

Spencer: Hmm…I’ll have to go with Walker here. Augustin has never been a guy that took much pride on the defensive end and with Parker’s ability to get into the painted area as well as any PG in the league, I like Kemba more in slowing him down. Point being, at least you know Kemba is going to give 100% effort- that’s all you can ask for at this point if you’re Coach Silas.

3- The fact that San Antonio doesn’t necessarily have a true center in their starting lineup will benefit the Bobcats tonight and may keep this contest closer than many may expect (CHA gives up 47.5 PPG in the painted area- last in NBA), or will Tony Parker get to the rim at will and continue to add to the defensive woes for CHA?

Andrew: I’m thinking the latter. Parker should see plenty of time in the paint, as will Tiago Splitter, who rolls to the basket with reckless abandon. Even guys like Gary Neal and Danny Green have a knack for putting the ball on the floor and getting into the paint. This might not end well for Charlotte.

Bryan: Even though the Spurs don’t employ a true center, Tim Duncan should have a field day against whoever gets tasked with guarding him. Blair is good enough to consistently beat Mullens and Diop, and, yes, Parker will certainly have his opportunities to finish at the rim.

Spencer: Tony Parker will get to the rim at will- Why should any of us expect anything else? Having Biyombo available is Charlotte’s only chance tonight, but not confident that’s going to be the case.