Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Golden State Warriors
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7 PM E.T.
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
|Charlotte||7-12||98.5 (25)||105.8 (25)||95.6 (8)|
|Golden State||13-7||102.8 (11)||101.3 (13)||95.7 (7)|
Charlotte: Tyrus Thomas (OUT)
Golden State: Andrew Bogut (OUT), Richard Jefferson (DTD)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Stephen Curry|
|SG||Ramon Sessions||Klay Thompson|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Harrison Barnes|
|PF||Byron Mullens||Carl Landry|
|C||Brendan Haywood||David Lee|
|6th Man||Jeffery Taylor||Jarrett Jack|
The Bobcats look to end their 7-game losing streak tonight as Golden State comes calling in winners on 8 of their past 10 games. J.M. Poulard, of TrueHoop blog ‘Warriors World‘ joins Greg and I to preview tonight’s game.
1- STATS: Golden State is above average in just about every category. Like the Bobcats, the Warriors like to play quickly. Unlike Charlotte, Golden State rebounds the ball well- 52.4 Rebounding Rate (5th); Bobcats- 47.8 (26th). Will the battle on the boards be the difference tonight?
Spencer: In a game between two teams that play at an up-tempo pace, possessions become very important. That being said, turnovers and rebounds will be the deciding factors in this one. Although Charlotte does not rebound well, they do value the ball more than the Warriors, averaging 1.4 less turnovers/100 possessions. Key for Charlotte will be to cause more turnovers than they commit and not give Golden State second chances from offensive rebounds.
J.M. Poulard (WarriorsWorld.net): The rebounding battle promises to be huge considering that it’s been a big part of why the Warriors have been a successful ball club this season. David Lee, Festus Ezeli, Carl Landry and Draymond Green have all pitched in on this front to help the Dubs close out defensive possessions and get out for a few transition opportunities. More importantly though, controlling or doing a decent job on this front means that Golden State can dictate the tempo of the game in some respects and that’s been part of why they’ve been successful in closing out games.
Greg: During their seven-game losing streak, the Bobcats have been outrebounded by an average of five boards per game. That’s obviously not going to help the team’s cause. Charlotte might get a little bit of a boost tonight if Jeff Adrien is active; he’s rebounded well in the D-league (11.4 RPG in the minors), and in his limited time in the NBA (17.6 TRB% in 259 career minutes). Still, there’s so much wrong with the Bobcats right now that a few other factors might end up being more important than their rebounding (see Question 2 below).
2- WHAT YOU’VE DONE FOR ME LATELY: J.M.: What has been the key for Golden State’s 13-7 start and winners in 8 of their last 10 games? QCH: What’s been the most bothersome factor to the Bobcats current 7-game losing streak?
Spencer: In Charlotte’s past 5 games they are allowing teams 13.3 offensive rebounds/game and only forcing 11 turnovers/game. So, not only are the Bobcats giving team’s tons of second chances, but they’re also not making up for those second chances by forcing turnovers. This equates to teams simply having more scoring opportunities in the course of a game.
J.M.: The Warriors’ bench has been huge throughout the season and they’ve held their end of the bargain as of late as well, which has afforded Mark Jackson the possibility of riding whichever player is playing best on that specific night. With that said, the Dubs aren’t where they are this season without Stephen Curry. The Davidson product has embraced his new role as the team’s alpha male — a role he initially struggled with earlier in the season — and buried teams with his scoring and playmaking; especially down the stretch of games. I wonder if he tries to put on a show down in Charlotte tonight as he goes back home.
Greg: The defense has been awful, with opponents averaging 47 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three-point range over that stretch. Turnovers forced has plummeted, too, down to 11.4 from their season average of 14.5. This team isn’t going to win many games unless the defense is clicking, and it’s hard to see where personnel adjustments can be made on that end. Saturday’s starting frontcourt of Bismack Biyombo and Gana Diop clearly didn’t move the needle much.
3- PICK IT: Bobcats or Warriors? Does Charlotte break the current losing streak tonight, or will Golden State improve to 4-0 on their east coast road swing?
Spencer: Bobcats. This should be a very entertaining game. Both teams like to go small, especially with their guards, and I believe the team that capitalizes more in the open court will win. Of course, that also puts added value on the turnover category, so the Bobcats will have to find a way to take it away from their opponent more tonight than they have recently. I’m expecting a big bounce back game for Sessions tonight.
J.M.: Road trips are difficult for the best teams in the NBA, which the Golden State Warriors are not. The way they are playing is conducive to producing wins, but at some point playing on the road eventually takes its toll and I think that starts tonight. The Dubs have had a great road trip so far, but ultimately I believe the energy of the home crowd carries the Bobcats to a victory.
Greg: Warriors. I’m expecting a loss, based on how the two teams have played recently, but Charlotte can at least experiment with its small-ball lineup tonight. The Warriors give a lot of minutes to the tiny frontcourt of Carl Landry and David Lee, and frequently play three-guard lineups with Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack and Klay Thompson. Getting the best Bobcats on the court, even if they’re undersized, gives the team a chance at breaking out of their funk.