Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Indiana Pacers
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
|Charlotte||9-28||99 (27)||108.4 (29)||94.6 (10)|
|Indiana||23-15||98 (29)||95.7 (1)||92.2 (27)|
Charlotte: Byron Mullens (OUT)
Indiana: Lance Stephenson (Questionable)
|PG||Kemba Walker||George Hill|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Lance Stephenson|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Paul George|
|PF||Hakim Warrick||David West|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Roy Hibbert|
|6th Man||Ramon Sessions||Gerald Green|
1- STATS: Saturday night in Indiana, Charlotte hung tough and gave the Pacers everything that they wanted for 4 quarters. Where the game was lost for the Cats in the statistical category was on the glass — The Bobcats were out-rebounded 48-38 for the game, allowed the Pacers to pull down 17 offensive rebounds and that led to 19 second chance points for Indiana. How can the Bobcats keep the likes of Hibbert, West & Mahinmi off the glass tonight?
Spencer: Lineups that feature Biyombo/Haywood & Adrien at the same time may have to be used more tonight. Warrick has shown some real promise on the offensive end and in transition since coming to Charlotte, but most of the time he’s a liability on the glass. On Saturday night, the Bobcats did give up far too many 3′s, but they’ve got to cut back on their opponents second chance points. Charlotte simply isn’t good enough, defensively, to consistently give their opponents more extra possessions than they get themselves.
Brett: Well, the Bobcats may find it beneficial to deploy the size they do have, rather than leave it sitting on the bench. I’m talking about giving Gana Diop some time in this game. While he’s a non-presence offensively, that’s basically true for Brendan Haywood and Bismack Biyombo as well. Diop moves better on defense than Haywood and has more size than Bis to battle with Indiana’s frontline. If the Bobcats are going to be paying him, they might as well try to use him in situations like this where he could be of value.
Tim Donohue (8 Points, 9 Seconds): It has to be about sound rotations and committing to the glass. The Pacers place a high value on rebounds, so they bring everyone. It was West and Hibbert who hurt you with offensive rebounding, but there numbers are a little funny. First, 10 of their 14 offensive rebounds (and 11 of the Pacers’ 17 for the game) came in the first quarter. Second, five of the offensive rebounds came on Hibbert misses (2 for Hibbert, 3 for West), and five came on West misses (3 for Hibbert, 2 for West). That indicates to me partially a size/strength advantage, but also poor rotations. It seems to me that Charlotte got a little fixated on the on-ball action, and lost people away from the ball. This is further manifested by allowing the Pacers to hit 8-of-15 1st half (mostly uncontested) three point attempts. That kept the Pacers afloat. Charlotte was oh-so-close to winning that game Saturday, and the difference Tuesday could be just the ability not to lose their men away from the ball.
2- OVER/UNDER: Indiana didn’t have Paul George (illness) on Saturday night against the Cats, but he’s back to full strength tonight. 22 PTS, 10 REB, 4 AST tonight for the budding star.
Spencer: Over. I love watching this guy play. MKG will get the first shot at George tonight, but because of his limited minutes lately he’s only going to have so much of an impact on him tonight. As Tim points out, the Bobcats won’t be able to throw so much help at David West tonight due to the fact that George will be back tonight. I think PG gets a lot of second chance points and put backs tonight because of how active he is around the rim at all times against a team who can’t keep anyone off the offensive boards.
Brett: Under on the points and rebounds, though his January averages of 19.0 and 10.7 make those intriguing. I’d call the assists a pick-em, though if Charlotte collapses on the post like they did Saturday, George could benefit by kicking out to shooters like David West did.
Tim: I’m going to go with the under, but not necessarily by much. Let’s face it, 22/10/4 is a tall order for most players. It will be interesting to see how Dunlap game plans against George, as PG changes the nature of the offense. Saturday, the Bobcats went aggressively after West, which opened up Pacer three point shooters, then West made them pay with a 5-for-6 third quarter, and a 4-assist fourth. George will have the ball in his hands a lot. Couple of things to note, though. First, while Paul is shooting 47.4% and averaging 20.9 ppg at home, his road numbers drop to 36.5% and 13.5 points. Second, Lance Stephenson is questionable tonight, and PG is shooting 45.8% and averaging 18.2 pts per 36 minutes in the 745 minutes he’s been on the floor with Lance. In his other 608 minutes, his shooting drops to 36.9%, and his scoring goes to 14.7 points per 36 minutes.
3- PICK IT: These two teams met just 3 days ago in what turned out to be quite a game. Can the Bobcats make the adjustments tonight and go ahead 2-1 in the season series?
Spencer: Nah, not with Paul George coming back for the Pacers. To think that the Bobcats ALMOST beat an Indiana team that was missing 19 PPG & 10.7 RPG on Saturday night gives me no hope to believe they’ll figure out how to do it tonight. In order for the upset to take place, the Cats have to limit Indiana to less than 12 offensive rebounds, shoot better than 47.5% for the game and commit no more than 12 turnovers. 94-90 Pacers.
Brett: I’ll take the Pacers again. Between the Pacers size in the frontcourt and solid depth, getting back their potentially best player (it’s getting to be close between George and Granger, no?) gives me no reasons to pick a reversal of fortune. Besides, what are the odds Kemba Walker gets 3 blocks again so soon? (Kemba’s 3 blocks on Saturday were all strips of players going up for layups on fast breaks – that’s a combination of quick hands and quick feet to avoid foul trouble. But 6 points for the Pacers that you wouldn’t expect to lose every game.)
Tim: The Pacers are always beatable, simply because their offensive execution is so poor. Against Brooklyn, all it really took was a 3 and 1/2-minute dead spot to lose a game they should have had in their back pocket. Charlotte can win this game with an almost identical game plan, given a break or two. I don’t think they will, but I didn’t think it would happen back in November, either. I expect a Pacer win, but would not be surprised to see a repeat of the first game in Charlotte.