Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Milwaukee Bucks
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
|Charlotte||4-4||99.0 (22)||101.9 (16)||95.8 (9)|
|Milwaukee||6-2||102.3 (12)||99.5 (11)||98.3 (1)|
Charlotte: Gerald Henderson (OUT), Tyrus Thomas (OUT)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Brandon Jennings|
|SG||Jeffery Taylor||Monta Ellis|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Tobias Harris|
|PF||Byron Mullens||Ersan Ilyasova|
|C||Brendan Haywood||Samuel Dalembert|
|6th Man||Ramon Sessions||Mike Dunleavy|
The Bobcats enter tonight’s game on the second of four straight at home and should feel a sense of urgency to take advantage of the home floor streak, hoping to defeat a good Milwaukee team. The Bucks come into tonight at 6-2 overall and winner of three straight. Milwaukee has been very impressive across the board this season, but the dynamic duo backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis has been close to unstoppable. Jeremy Schmidt, from the TrueHoop blog ‘Bucksketball‘, joins us to preview tonight’s game.
1- STATS: Milwaukee leads the league in the PACE category (98.3) and is 12th in the league at True Shooting % (53.2). Short story, the Bucks love to push the tempo and they can score in bunches. Doesn’t seem like a great recipe for the Bobcats- what’s the number one statistical category for Charlotte to win tonight in order to stay competitive?
Spencer: Turnovers. The Bobcats are 5th best in Turnover Ratio so far this season, but this stat will become ultra important tonight as Charlotte faces a Milwaukee team that uses more possessions than any other in the NBA. If the Bobcats are able to keep it under 12 turnovers, I believe this game goes down to the last minute.
Jeremy Schmidt (Bucksketball): Charlotte appears to have been a good offensive rebounding team and a miserable defensive rebounding team. On the contrary, the Bucks have been passable as a offensive rebounding team and the best defensive rebounding team in the league through their first eight games. If Charlotte can crash the offensive glass and get some easy baskets, it may offset their general inability to make a lot of shots. If Milwaukee can’t win on the defensive glass, it makes it harder for them to bust out and get some of the easy baskets that have helped drive its offense.
Brett: Most important stat to me is going to be rebounding – the Bucks do a great job on the defensive boards, leading the NBA in defensive rebound rate. The Bobcats, however, rely on hitting the offensive glass as a big part of their offense, at 5th in the league in offensive rebound rate. The Bobcats are still learning how to score efficiently, and if they can’t get some easy points on second chances, it will hurt their chances.
2- OVER/UNDER: Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are accounting for 37.8 PPG and 13.9 APG for Milwaukee this season. Take the O/U for that output for the two tonight in Charlotte.
Spencer: Under. Not having Gerald Henderson will hurt the Bobcats here, but I think Jeffery Taylor will force Monta into a rough shooting start and that’s all it takes for Ellis to have a bad game- definitely has a habit to start forcing shots when they don’t start falling from the beginning. Kemba will be active enough to keep Jennings at bay.
Jeremy: The high profile guards have played well lately and something tells me they’re due for a bit of a let down. Not a drastic one, but the bar is set pretty high statistically, as you’ve pointed out. I’ll take the under.
Brett: I’ll take the over. The Bobcats have had a couple of games where they struggled with their transition defense, and it was exploited (the first Dallas game comes to mind). The Bobcats also attempt to create some chaos on defense with presses, traps, and zone, which can lead to openings on the perimeter – if Jennings and Ellis heat up from long-range, they could have big nights.
3- PICK IT: Milwaukee comes in on a three game winning streak while Charlotte looks to rebound from a loss to Memphis on Saturday night and attempt to take advantage on the second of four straight home games. Bobcats or Bucks, and why?
Spencer: Bobcats. I do believe that this young team has more confidence in themselves than most 4-4 squads. That being said, Charlotte should understand the significance of taking advantage of a winnable game at home tonight after falling Saturday night. No question that Milwaukee is the better team, but the Bobcats are too young to care and they get back on the win train tonight. Another prediction- Jeffery Taylor breakout game. 15 points, 6 rebounds & 4 steals. Basing this prediction on the thought that Taylor will have to play more minutes tonight in order to defend Monta Ellis.
Jeremy: I say Bucks, because I always go with the team I think is more talented, unless there is something spectacularly strange in the air. I don’t suspect there will be tonight, so I’m thinking the Bucks take this one down, somewhere in the 105-94 range. Milwaukee’s defense was atrocious on Saturday against the Hornets and they haven’t turned in consecutive poor defensive performances yet this season. I’d be surprised if they started now.
Brett: I’m picking the Bucks. While the Bobcats’ early (relative) success has been a welcome respite from last season, they still have a ways to go in their development. I’m looking forward to watching Jeffery Taylor matchup with Monta Ellis, and if the Bobcats had Gerald Henderson to help slow him down as well, I may pick this in the other direction. But, as it stands, I’ll take the veteran backcourt over the Bobcats’ young pairing (and putting Gordon or Sessions on Ellis could make for some highlights, though not good ones for the Cats).