Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Oklahoma City Thunder
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
|Charlotte||13-47||97.6 (29)||109 (29)||94.4 (13)|
|Oklahoma City||45-16||113.0 (1)||103.1 (8)||93.7 (8)|
Charlotte: Ramon Sessions (Out)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Russell Westbrook|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Thabo Sefolosha|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Kevin Durant|
|PF||Byron Mullens||Serge Ibaka|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Kendrick Perkins|
|6th Man||Ben Gordon||Kevin Martin|
1-STATS: Well, let’s make this simple. The Thunder are far and beyond superior to the Bobcats in every category. Is there any way that Charlotte can corral Oklahoma City’s explosive offensive arsenal of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant?
Spencer: I’m not sure that any team in this league can slow down Westbrook/Durant. That being said, I’d expect Taylor and Hendo to share time on the court tonight attempting to guard the duo. Charlotte has to be patient offensively and make it a priority to beat OKC down the floor defensively in an effort to keep this game at a slower pace. Good luck Bobcats.
Royce: You’ve really got two options: 1) Outscore them or 2) pray they have a terrible night. Because really, those two beat a lot of teams all on their own. I’m not sure there’s really a good gameplan for them at all because they’re both so dynamic and can score so many different ways.
Greg: Royce already said pray, so I’m not sure what else to put here. I’m hoping for big minutes from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist; I don’t know how effective he’ll be at defending Durant, but locking down the opponent’s best player is theoretically going to be his role for the next ten years. The team is going to lose anyway, so a sink-or-swim approach might be best here.
2- JEFF TAYLOR = THABO SEFOLOSHA: Jeff Taylor seems to have a lot of Sefolosha in his game. Is this his best comparison?
Spencer: They’re both similar in height and body types and Taylor projects to be an above average defender like Sefolosha. I also see some similarities in their offensive skill sets. Both are below average ball handlers, but can space the floor and make outside shots. Taylor may end up being a more explosive of an athlete than Sefolosha.
Royce: Admittedly I haven’t watched a ton of Jeff Taylor, but it appears to me he’s a stronger athlete and leaper than Thabo is. Thabo has become a very good spot-up shooter though. He’s reliable from both corners and someone that spaces the floor nicely for Durant and Westbrook. What makes Thabo such a good defender is he knows how to use his length. I think Taylor could be an elite wing defender, but he’s got to commit to it and make that his identity, like Thabo has.
Greg: It seems as good a comparison as any. If Taylor wants to surpass Thabo on the offensive end, he’ll need to do one of two things: 1. become a better shooter, if not an elite one; 2. tighten up his handle, allowing him to be more effective driving to the basket. His defense already looks fine, so he’s carved out a nice niche so far. If that’s all he ever is, it’s still nice to have quality role players around.
3- PICK IT: Everyone has the Thunder, so just give us something intriguing to watch for in this contest.
Spencer: The only saving grace from total embarrassment is that OKC had a tough game against the Knicks in NYC last night. So, just 110-85 Thunder
Royce: Byron Mullens against his old team! Considering though what happened in the last meeting between these two teams with the Thunder just obliterating Charlotte, I’d have to think there’d be some pride pumping through the Bobcats’ veins tonight.
Greg: Like I said above, I’m really rooting for MKG to shine in this one. He’s played well in his past three games, averaging 15 points and seven rebounds. With Ramon Sessions out, it’d be nice to see Kemba have a breakout game, as well.