Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Utah Jazz
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
Coverage: Fox Sports South
|Charlotte||5-31||93.5 (30)||108.3 (29)||92.8 (17)|
|Utah||18-19||103.1 (8)||104.3 (23)||92.8 (18)|
Charlotte: No significant injuries
Utah: Devin Harris (day-to-day)
|PG||D.J. Augustin||Devin Harris|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Raja Bell|
|SF||Corey Maggette||Josh Howard|
|PF||Bismack Biyombo||Paul Millsap|
|C||Byron Mullens||Al Jefferson|
|6th Man||Kemba Walker||Josh Howard|
Spencer Hall, from Salt City Hoops stops by to help the QCH panel preview tonight’s game. Utah has only won back-to-back road games once this season, while Charlotte hasn’t won back-to-back games all season- who has the edge tonight? Let’s get to it.
1- TREND BEGINNING? Utah ranks 24th in defensive efficiency (103.6). A night after putting up 100 points and shooting 47.5% against an Orlando team that gives up less than 100 points per 100 possessions on average, the Bobcats are poised to continue their hot shooting against a below average Utah defense tonight.
Spencer Hall (Salt City Hoops): The Bobcats exist as a balm for what ails opposing teams. Therefore, I see no purpose in beginning any “trends” or “winning streaks” or “any kind of success against a visiting team from Utah that would REALLY like to get a second win on this road trip.”
Bryan Wendland: I don’t think anyone saw that 20 point, comeback win happening last night, so I hesitate to predict another offensive outburst based off that game. Still, Utah hasn’t played well on the road all year and they’ve been consistently below average defensively, so I think Charlotte can shoot around 47 percent tonight… I don’t see them soaring over the century mark again, though.
Jenn Kimbal: With an average offensive efficiency of 91.9 points and an abysmal 72 point game against the Spurs on March 2, it’s hard to say that any offensive trend is forming. Amongst their wins for the season, however, the Cats have averaged 104.8 points. If the Bobcats can pull out another win, I anticipate it will happen over the 100 point hurdle.
2- FACT or FICTION. A night after Bismack Biyombo posted a stat line of 10 PTS, 15 REB and 7 BLKS and went toe-to-toe with the best center in the league, Biyombo will continue his stellar play tonight and outperform Utah’s Al Jefferson. Jefferson is averaging 18.7 PPG and 9.4 RPG- also ranks 12th among NBA players in PER (23.12).
Spencer Hall: FICTION. Biyombo was on the draft radar for many Jazz fans, so much so that our best youtuber felt the need to create this highlight package http://youtu.be/cfiVLAtcphA from a Bobcats/Pacers game. That being said, the Jazz have a nice pair of young centers (Kanter/Favors) who do a lot of the same things as young Bismack. The Jazz centers-by-committee are much more likely to give up a million points than they are to give up a million rebounds.
Bryan Wendland: FICTION. I don’t know if he’ll outplay Jefferson, but I think Biyombo will definitely put up solid numbers. Another 10, 15 and five game would go a long way towards a Charlotte victory.
Jenn Kimbal: FACT. Biyombo clearly has the talent and more importantly the drive. Bismack seems to thrive when challenged and I think tonight will be no exception.
3- PREDICTION. Will the Bobcats carry all the momentum from last night’s win into the Cable Box tonight and come out win another win, or will Utah put Charlotte back in place. Keys to a victory for your pick?
Spencer Hall: Paul Silas can’t get kicked out every game, so I see the Jazz picking up the win. The key to victory is probably the rest factor. The Jazz arrive rested while the Bobcats spent their energy in last night’s big win. Jeff van Gundy was joking at the Sloan Analytics Conference when he said that Silas should be included in Coach of the Year discussions for somehow coaxing even 4 wins out of his group, but I actually tend to agree.
The key from the Jazz side is continuing with the very strong play from Gordon Hayward after being moved to the second unit on Monday. He was a genius in his new role and sparked some of the best play of the year from the team.
Bryan Wendland: If the ‘Cats are to pick up their second consecutive victory, Corey Maggette has to have another 20 point performance, Kemba and DJ Augustin need to combine for at least 15 assists and the entire team has to hold Utah to less than 100 points. All that can happen, but I don’t think it will, so I’m taking Utah in this one.
Jenn Kimbal: I think last night’s win was a perfect example of how a strong performance by one or two players can easily shift the entire team’s dynamic. The second half performances of Maggette and Biyombo turned the course of the game and if these players can perform similarly tonight, the Cats can pull out a win.