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Bobcats vs Magic Preview: QCH 4-on-4 (3 ?’s)

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 16-54 99.7 (29) 109.1 (30) 94.1 (16)
Orlando 18-53 99.3 (26) 106.8 (26) 94.3 (15)

Previous Meetings:
2012/12/15 – 98-107 – RecapBoxscore

2013/01/18 – 106-99 – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: Ramon Sessions (OUT)
Orlando: Nikola Vucevic (OUT), Aaron Afflalo (OUT), Glen Davis (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Magic
PG Kemba Walker Jameer Nelson
SG Gerald Henderson E’Twaun Moore
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Maurice Harkless
PF Josh McRoberts Tobias Harris
C Bismack Biyombo Kyle O’Quinn
6th Man Ben Gordon Beno Udrih

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network

1- STATS: In 3 games this season the Bobcats have averaged 103 PPG and shot 46.6% from field against Orlando. Why does Charlotte match-up so well with the Magic, because we all know that’s not the case often for the Cats.

Spencer: Well, the Magic, like the Bobcats, are not a very good team. Therefore, the two tend to make each other look good at times. Tonight, the Magic may make Charlotte look really good simply due to the fact that they’re depleted by injury. Arguably, their best 3 players have all been lost for the season due to injury — Aaron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic & Glen Davis.

Raj Prashad: Charlotte dominated the paint in all three games against Orlando and will look to do the same Wednesday night. Their ability to get out in transition, be conservative with the ball and control the young Magic front court makes the Bobcats a tough matchup with Orlando.

Greg: It helps that Orlando is really bad. The Magic have lost seven in a row, and have a legitimate chance at “overtaking” Charlotte for the worst record in the league. That doesn’t mean the players don’t have promise, though. They’re just similarly a roster in flux right now, starting a mix of rookies and young players. They’ve suffered some significant injuries, too, with Glen Davis missing time and Arron Afflalo recently sidelined.

As far as on the court, they don’t defend anyone particularly well (25th in opponent eFG%) and don’t force turnovers. Their opponents also shoot 61.9% in the restricted area (fifth-worst in the league), which the Bobcats have the personnel to exploit.

Mathew: For starters, much like the Bobcats, the Magic are a bad defensive basketball team. Why are they bad defensively? They’re young (again, like the Bobcats). Young basketball teams are rarely formidable on the defensive end, particularly when it comes to team defense. Look for a high scoring game tonight.

2- OVER/UNDER: Kemba has averaged 27 PPG (53.8 FG%), 6.3 APG & 4.7 RPG in 3 meetings with Orlando this season. Take the under on these numbers tonight, right?

Spencer: I actually believe there’s a strong chance that Kemba surpasses these numbers tonight. This is going to be an up-tempo game. Probably comical to how fast this one is going to be played at times. There won’t be a whole lot of defense, because, well, neither team has a defensive identity and they’ll simply feed off each other for the opportunity to run-and-gun. Lastly, I just don’t trust the combination of Jameer Nelson, Beno Udrih and E’Twaun Moore to contain Kemba.

Raj: Under. Kemba’s been consistent this season, but his numbers against the Magic are a bit inflated thanks to a 32-point effort back in December. He’ll be more likely to hit around the range of 22 points, seven assists and three rebounds.

Greg: See my answer to Question No. 1 — if he’s willing to take the ball to the rack, he could have similar success on Wednesday. Kemba has been deferring to teammates a little more, however, with his points per game steadily dropping from a high in December. That’s probably good for the team overall, but at this point Walker seems to operate better when he’s dominating the ball. Finding a happy balance will be key for the team moving forward.

Mathew: Under. But barely. Jameer Nelson has never been known as a stopper and he’s getting up there in years. Therefore, Kemba should be able to get into the lane with regularity. Whether or not he tallies the requisite points most likely boils down to how efficient he shoots the ball from the mid-range and behind the arc. I’ll go 24/7/5.

3- PICK IT: Don’t say this often — Bobcats have chance to take the season series from the Magic tonight. Will it happen?

Spencer: Yeah. It will happen. Just take a glance at Orlando’s starting lineup. They have some real promising young players, but much like the Bobcats of last season – the Magic are probably sporting a D-league starting 5 currently. 110-102 Bobcats.

Raj: Without Nikola Vucevic thanks to a concussion, Orlando seems firmly focused on the offseason. I’ll give this one to Charlotte.

Greg: Sure, why not? Charlotte’s well-rested, is playing at home, has looked improved in the past ten games and seems to match up well. It’s far from a lock (nothing this year could be), but I have a better feeling about tonight’s game than any in recent memory.

Mathew: Bobcats. Although the Cats are coming off a 32-point drubbing by the Miami Heat the Magic bring a 7-game losing streak into TWC Arena. I think the Bobcats take it at home. This game could very well be termed a battle for the most ping pong balls, but without a surefire #1 pick in this year’s draft I don’t think we’ll necessarily see either team trying to lose. My opinion as a fan? I would rather them lose if it means securing the most ping pong balls for the upcoming draft, even though there is no consensus #1 pick. Having the first pick simply affords the team more options come draft night (selection, trading up/down, trading pick for veteran).