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Bobcats @ Magic Preview: 3-on-3 with Magic Basketball

What: NBA Basketball – Magic Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Amway Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Orlando 14-24 100.5 (20) 103.5 (18) 93.9 (16)
Charlotte 9-29 98.5 (28) 108.3 (29) 94.6 (12)

Previous Meetings:
2012/12/15 – 107-98 – RecapBoxscore

Orlando: Gustavo Ayon (OUT), Hedo Turkoglu (OUT)
Charlotte: Kemba Walker (Probable), Byron Mullens (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Magic Bobcats
PG Jameer Nelson Kemba Walker
SG J.J. Redick Gerald Henderson
SF Arron Afflalo Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Nikola Vucevic Hakim Warrick
C Glen Davis Bismack Biyombo
6th Man E’Twaun Moore Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1-STATS: Orlando is very average in most statistical categories while Charlotte is very below average. In the first meeting in the Queen City between these two, the Bobcats were out-rebounded by 12 and allowed the Magic to shoot 54.4% from the field. What’s the key statistical category for both teams to pull out a win tonight?

Spencer: I’m throwing statistical categories out the door for this one. The coaching side of me feels as if the effort against Indiana in the Cats last game was simply pathetic. Jogging, standing up on defense, making no effort to box out. The list goes on-and-on, but the bottom line is that the guys on this roster have to decide they want to play hard. A winning mentality is tough to have when you lose as much as this young group does, but they’re starting to show signs of giving in and that has to stop.

Jeffery: Both teams are below the league average in rebounding, FG% and 3-point shots made and attempted. However, the largest disparity between the two teams, and the most significant statistical category for this game will be free throws. For this young, struggling team, the Bobcats really excel in getting to the charity stripe. The Cats are 6th in the league in free throw attempts. As a team, the Cats are getting to the line a staggering 26 times per game, with the Magic going a league-worst 16 times. The last meeting saw the Cats get to the line 29 times, hitting 22 of them earning a 76% average. Unfortunately, all of these free throws were not enough to get the job done. In the last meeting, the Magic were 16 for 19 as a team, and for not getting to the line as frequent, certainly made the most of their opportunities. This time around, if the Cats can earn another 25-30 trips to the line, and bring their average to 80%, they have the ability to slow down the game try to get out of Orlando with a win.

Nate Drexler (Magic Basketball): For the Magic it comes down to True Field Goal Percentage and Effective Field Goal Percentage. The Magic aren’t going to kill on you on the glass as a team, but when they start heating up they really don’t need to. Typically the offensive efficiency stems from a “w” in the turnover department. If Orlando can limit the turnovers, they shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Bobcats. All that said, look at the turnover category tonight after the game, that should be good indicator of who won the game.

2- OPINION: Eddy or Nate — Tell us about Andrew Nicholson and what’s been so impressive about him in his rookie season? Currently, Nicholson is sporting a 16.10 PER.
QCH — Is Kemba officially slumping? In his past 5 games, Kemba is averaging 13.4 PPG, 3.4 AST & 2 Turnovers.

Spencer: Kemba has fallen victim to a stagnant offense that has zero identity. Every guy on the floor right now looks as if they have no idea what’s about to happen in the half-court, offensively. This results in Kemba calling for the PnR and eventually taking a bad shot or having to try to finish in the lane against the trees. I think the absence of Byron Mullens is starting to really rear it’s ugly head for Charlotte on the offensive end. Warrick is a less efficient shooter and takes equally bad shots and Jeff Adrien is a non-factor on offense. There are far less options with a Haywood/Biyombo PnR for Kemba than there are with the prototypical stretch 4 that Mullens can be.

Jeffrey: Well it seems like Kemba has hit a little bit of a snag offensively. What is troubling about this is out of the last 5 opponents, only one (Celtics) could really be considered a perennial playoff team. We must keep in mind that in those four previous games, excluding the Celtics game, Kemba has only been shooting an average of 10 shots per game (the Boston game he jacked up 16). I like his willingness to be a pass-first type PG, but he needs to get back to being aggressive, getting into the paint, and getting to the line. It is what he does best and its what the Cats need in order to start turning this ship around.

Nate: When he is on the court the Magic are better. There are no two ways around this. His impact comes almost exclusively on the offensive end. The most impressive part about his game is his footwork and confidence. Whether he’s on the low block or stepping out for a 15 footer, it always seems like he makes the best decision and takes the highest percentage shot. We talk about “high IQ players.” I’m not sure I’m ready to give him this title yet because of his folly on the defensive end and tendency to get into foul trouble, but offensively, Nicholson is smart and finds ways to get buckets.

3- PICK IT: Do the Bobcats even the season series tonight in Orlando, or do the Magic improve to 2-0 against Charlotte for the season? Why?

Spencer: Magic 105-97. Even though the Bobcats come into tonight on some significant rest, they’re playing some of their worst basketball of the season and I think the slump continues tonight. I expect Charlotte to play with more enthusiasm than they have as of late, but they get an Orlando bunch that is fresh off an impressive win over Indiana and has Glen Davis back in the frontcourt.

Jeffrey: The Magic take this one at home. Both teams are about even, and the Cats are skidding, losing their last 5. When in doubt, take the home team.

Nate: The Magic are going to improve to 2-0 tonight. After a ten game skid, the Magic are feeling good again coming off a win over the Pacers and getting Glen Davis back into the lineup. Vucevic has a handful of double-doubles in a row, and the back court is shooting the ball well. I had this game pegged as a confidence booster for Orlando. At this point it all comes down to execution. Will we see the sleepy and unenthusiastic Magic or the solidified, convicted magic?