Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Utah Jazz
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
|Charlotte||9-24||99.1 (27)||107.9 (30)||95 (8)|
|Utah||18-18||103 (11)||104 (22)||94.4 (15)|
Charlotte: Hakim Warrick (OUT), Byron Mullens (OUT)
Utah: Mo Williams (OUT), Marvin Williams (OUT)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Jamaal Tinsley|
|SG||Jeffery Taylor||Randy Foye|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Gordon Hayward|
|PF||Tyrus Thomas||Paul Millsap|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Al Jefferson|
|6th Man||Ramon Sessions||Derrick Favors|
1- STATS: The Jazz outclass the Bobcats in just about every single statistical category, but don’t do any certain thing outstanding. One of Charlotte’s big problems is giving their opponent second chances and Utah ranks 5th in the league in Offensive Rebound Rate (30.0). If the Bobcats allow Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap clean up on the offensive glass it’s going to be a long night, so they must key in on the defensive glass. Is that the number one priority for Charlotte in this game?
Spencer: Cats have got to do a better job of protecting their own basket- guarding at the rim. Even in a Charlotte winning effort on Sunday night in Detroit, they still allowed the Pistons frontcourt duo of Monroe/Drummond to go a combined 12-16 from the floor for 28 points. Millsap and Jefferson will run laps around those numbers if the Bobcats can’t keep them away from the basket and not allow second chances.
Brett: It’s probably either on the boards, or in defending without fouling. The Jazz are 11th in offensive efficiency largely due to those areas – they hit the offensive glass and they draw fouls, shooting about 25 free throws per game. So, they play big – and the frontcourt is where Charlotte’s nightly output fluctuates most.
Mathew: Yes. Limiting Utah’s effectiveness on the offensive boards will go a long way towards helping the Bobcats earn a victory tonight. A way for them to aid in this effort is to keep the perimeter players out of the lane so that the Bobcat bigs are not required to come off the likes of Jefferson, Millsap, and Favors and in turn decrease the likelihood of boxing the aforementioned out.
2- OVER/UNDER: 40% chance that either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap will be wearing a Bobcats (Hornets?) uniform next season. Both players will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season and Charlotte obviously is in bad need for frontcourt help.
Spencer: I’m taking the under, but I do think the Cats front office will attempt to make a run at one of the two. The concept that these two players could cost more than the Bobcats should pay considering they won’t be contending for a few more years is true, but you also have to surround youth with proven talent at some point. I didn’t think Charlotte would land Ramon Sessions for the discounted price they did, so if for some reason the market value doesn’t end up being what most think it will be for Millsap or Jefferson, then yes, I do think there’s a realistic chance one of these players could end up in Charlotte.
Brett: I’m taking the under. Both players are at a point in their career where they’ll be coveted by contending teams, and the Bobcats still won’t be in that category next year. Millsap will turn 28 next month, and Al Jefferson just crossed that threshold. The optimistic projection for the Bobcats’ rebuilding would have either of the two being 30 in the Cats next relevant season, so I just don’t see that being worth a big enough contract to lure them to the Queen City.
Mathew: Under (hopefully). Trading for either of these players would not make much sense for the Bobcats as they’re both developed players who have reached their ceiling and are ready to help a team win now. Signing either in the offseason would make equally little sense as the Bobcats would more than likely end up overspending to bring a relatively marquee name to a small market. Neither of these options should be in the blueprint.
3- PICK IT: Utah has won 3 of their last 4, while the Bobcats have pulled out two road victories in their last 3 games. Now the Bobcats come home again in what some would consider a winnable game? Will Charlotte finally figure out how to protect their home floor again, or will it be a road win on the east coast for Utah?
Spencer: Jazz. Much to the tune of what Brett is saying, the Jazz have a very efficient offense- one that’s extremely hard to guard in this league. Utah has a frontcourt that can eat up just about any defense on it’s own, but they also spread the floor with shooters — that’s a lethal combination that triggers lots of one-on-one match-ups and has the ability to slice up help defense (Dunlap’s style). Utah is down two usual starters tonight in Mo Williams and Marvin Williams, so that helps the Cats chances, but I’m taking the Jazz.
Brett: I’m going to stick with the guidelines from my post on Monday – I’m taking the Jazz, as they are 11th in offensive efficiency and a top-10 team in 3 point field goal %. The good news for the Cats is that the Jazz are middling in turnover rate and not a great defense, so it improves their chances – but between their strong offense and memories of Al Jefferson toying with Bismack Biyombo last year on his way to a big game, I’ll take Utah.
Mathew: Bobcats. Given it’s a Wednesday night game where fans can help themselves to $4 beers and bottomless buckets of popcorn, I’m assuming the home crowd is going to be raucous. To boot, Mo Williams is out and the Jazz are now starting Jamaal Tinsley, who I remember watching in the NCAA tournament when I was like 13. Expect Adrien to see more time on the court tonight as believe Dunlap will use a healthy frontcourt rotation and may favor his more barrel-chested options. If the Bobcats can keep the rebounding margin respectable and get into the lane on offense I expect Charlotte to pull it out at home.