Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs New York Knicks
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
|Charlotte||19-61||97.9 (29)||109.1 (30)||94.1 (16)|
|New York||52-27||108.7 (3)||103.4 (16)||92.0 (26)|
Charlotte: Byron Mullens (OUT), Ramon Sessions (OUT)
New York: Carmelo Anthony (OUT), Tyson Chandler (OUT), Kenyon Martin (OUT)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Raymond Felton|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Pablo Prigioni|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Iman Shumpert|
|PF||Josh McRoberts||Steve Novak|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Chris Copeland|
|6th Man||Ben Gordon||J.R. Smith|
- This is a depleted Knicks roster tonight that will not feature Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin or Marcus Camby. New York also just released PF Solomon Jones earlier today, so my guess is as good as yours as to who will start in the front court tonight for the Knicks — I’m throwing darts at Novak and Copeland. One thing we know for sure — the Knicks have no choice but to play extremely small tonight.
- Without a true center or PF tonight for New York, they’re going to have to rely very heavily on dribble-penetration from their guards. Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd are all very good at getting into the center of defenses, forcing them to collapse and then New York kills you with their floor spacing and deadly shooters — Steve Novak, J.R. Smith, James White and even Chris Copeland can fill it up from deep.
- Charlotte needs to focus on the one-on-one defensive match-ups tonight and give less attention to help defense. The more Kemba, Hendo, Taylor, Pargo & Gordon can keep the ball contained and in front of them, the less help defense will be needed and the harder it will be for New York to get wide open 3-point shots. Miami and San Antonio are probably the only other teams in the league with as good of spacing as the Knicks, so if New York is able to breakdown Charlotte off the dribble easily tonight — it’ll be a long night for the Bobcats.
- We saw a depleted and undersized Miami team come into the ‘Cable Box’ just two weeks ago, spread the floor and kill Charlotte from behind the arc. The Heat took 33 3’s that night, making 13 of them.
- There’s no question that the Bobcats have more to play for than New York tonight, but we all know that this Bobcats team is good at playing down to their competition when they do get a rare match-up that they should win.
- Charlotte is awful at defending the 3-pointer. They’ve given up more 3PM than any other team in the league and allow their opponent’s to shoot the 2nd best 3FG% — Phoenix is the only team to allow a better 3FG%.
- All this being said, I do think Charlotte makes some slight adjustments tonight defensively and forces this tiny Knicks lineup to finish around the rim.
- A win tonight would give Charlotte 20 wins — a number that seemed like the realistic goal before the season.
Prediction — 95-90 Bobcats.