Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Miami Heat
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Away Game
When: 6:00 PM ET
Where: Live at AmericanAirlines Arena
Charlotte: Brendan Haywood (OUT)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Mario Chalmers|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Dwyane Wade|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Lebron James|
|PF||Josh McRoberts||Udonis Haslem|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Chris Bosh|
|6th Man||Ben Gordon||Ray Allen|
1- PERSONNEL — Jannero Pargo has been lights-out for the Bobcats so far, averaging 11 points and three assists on 62.6% true shooting (!) in 23 minutes per game. That efficiency obviously isn’t sustainable, but his three-point shooting has done a great job of opening up the offense. As good as Ramon Sessions has been, would a player like Pargo be a better fit for this team moving forward?
Greg: Ramon Sessions has been very good this year, and I don’t want to downplay his contributions. But he was mostly brought in as insurance if Kemba didn’t show growth this year, which likely won’t be an issue going forward. They each have their own strengths, but Kemba and Sessions are more similar than different, and it becomes even more problematic when they play so many minutes together. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Sessions dealt this offseason.
Ben Gordon has been the only consistent player from range this year, and he comes with his own issues on offense. Pargo is probably not the answer long-term, but shooting will be one of the biggest problems the Bobcats need to address this offseason.
2- BIG PICTURE — Charlotte obviously don’t have a great chance of winning Sunday’s game against the Heat. At this point in the season, what are you looking for from the Bobcats when they play an elite opponent?
Greg: Positive contributions from the young guys is an obvious answer here: the most frustrating thing about Saturday’s loss to Detroit was MKG being firmly planted on the bench in crunch time.
But even more important will be the way the team handles adversity. Their struggles with the three-point shot, on both sides of the ball, means that they’re prone to getting blown out. This recent stretch is the most competitive they’ve been all year; keeping things tight against the Heat would be a major moral victory and more evidence that things are starting to gel a bit for the team.
3- PICK IT (kind of) — As noted above, the Bobcats winning this game would be a pretty major upset. The line opened with Charlotte as 18.5-point underdogs — how close do you see this game coming?
Greg: I think they’ll come closer than that, though it could obviously get ugly. Both games between the teams have been competitive this year. On Feb. 4, Charlotte only lost by five; the game on Dec. 26 didn’t get out of hand until the fourth quarter. That’s mostly because the Heat tend to coast when they can, but we can still hope for the best.