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Bobcats vs Wizards preview: 3-on-3 with TAI

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Washington Wizards

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 2-3 103.1 (8) 110.1 (30) 95.1 (18)
Washington 0-5 91.3 (30) 97.7 (10) 94.6 (22)

Previous Meetings:

Charlotte: Gerald Henderson (OUT)
Washington: Nene (OUT), John Wall (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Wizards
PG Kemba Walker A.J. Price
SG Jeffery Taylor Jordan Crawford
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Trevor Ariza
PF Byron Mullens Chris Singleton
C Brendan Haywood Emeka Okafor
6th Man Ben Gordon Bradley Beal

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network Tonight the Bobcats attempt to improve to .500 for the season and 3-1 on their home floor as the win-less Wizards visit Time Warner Cable Arena. Kyle Weidie, from ESPN’s TrueHoop Washington Wizards affiliate ‘Truth About It’ joins us to preview tonight’s game.

1- STATS: Washington ranks dead last in the league in offensive efficiency while Charlotte ranks dead last in defensive efficiency. Which one of the bottom feeder categories is more bothersome?

Spencer: I’m just a defensive minded type of guy when it comes to basketball, so I’m going to say that struggling to defend the opposing team is more of a problem. Really, you can look at it either way, but because of the fact that the Bobcats depend on playing at an up-tempo pace, they need to be able to force turnovers and missed shots for run-outs and easy baskets. Plus, the Wizards won’t be last in the league all season- when John Wall comes back they’ll be just fine offensively.

Kyle Weidie (Truth About It): I’d be more bothered by Charlotte’s defensive inefficiency. The Wizards are without both John Wall and Nene right now, and while I won’t claim their ultimate presence on the court to be some kind of magic winning elixir for Washington, having an unselfish presence in the post in Nene and a one-man fast-break only dwarfed by LeBron in Wall will ultimately make a big difference in D.C. Problem is, no one is exactly sure when either will be back. Could be three weeks to a month, could be longer.

Brett: The Bobcats placing last in defensive efficiency, by a healthy margin.  The Wiz are at least in the same ball park as other teams – the Bobcats own the category by about 4 points per 100 possessions.  The worrisome part?   Defense typically dominates at the start of the season and offenses improve throughout the year (like in baseball where pitchers own the first month of the season due to starting earlier) – so, the Bobcats are getting lit up by not yet warmed up offenses.

2- OPINION: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal have both made big impacts so far in their rookie campaigns. If you were starting an NBA franchise and had to chose one, who would it be?

Spencer: You really can’t go wrong here, but again I’ll refer back to my crush on defensive minded players. That being said, give me MKG. I love Brad Beal. Like, really think he’s going to be a great player and all-star in this league one day. On top of that he’s a good defender and above average rebounder for his size. MKG is just so multi-dimensional and if he ever develops into a 16-18 PPG type of offensive weapon. Oh my.

Kyle: This one is really tough, as I completely respect MKG’s tenacity and all-around game, but I’d be more inclined to choose Beal. He’s a natural scorer who knows how to get teammates involved (a rarity of selflessness in the NBA), he has range on his jump shot (although that still needs a lot of work), and Beal rebounds very well for a guard. Plus, he’s got toughness, acquired from battles with football-playing brothers as a youth. A franchise probably couldn’t go wrong starting off with either player, while realizing that neither is really a “franchise player” like a Kevin Durant and that they’d have a long way to go.

Brett: I don’t think there’s a wrong answer to this one, but I’ll take MKG, just because I’m an advocate of drafting size (and you can tell based on the Bobcats’ draft history they do not share this philosophy – Felton, Augustin, Henderson, and Walker).  MKG is going to be a great defender in the NBA – his opening night block of Roy Hibbert, a pinned block against the Suns, and then a block of Vince Carter in Saturday’s game against the Mavs.  He is impressive.

3- PICK IT: Both of these teams have been somewhat of a surprise so far this season. Charlotte has already won two games and broken a lifelong losing streak to Dallas and the Wizards have yet to register a win. Will the Bobcats improve to 3-1 on their home floor tonight, or will the Wizards get their first win?

Spencer: Bobcats. Charlotte is a 1.5 point favorite and I’m not even going to begin to guess the last time they were favored to win a game. The line on the game tonight makes me happy enough and I’m just going to bank on Vegas being right.

Kyle: I’m not ‘that’ surprised that the Wizards haven’t won, probably because I’m so used to them losing that it’s expected — I’m sure we feel each other’s pain on this. But, Washington has been in just about every game and is making incremental improvements toward a rather low ceiling without a full roster. That said, I’m not completely confident that the Wizards match-up well the Bobcats, especially when thinking about the punishment that Kidd-Gilchrist could provide to a relatively listless Trevor Ariza. Maybe Charlotte’s defense is just what Washington needs to get its offense going, but with the Wiz fielding limited offensive options, I suspect that it will be the other way around, and thus I’m calling a Bobcats victory tonight.

Brett: I’ll go with the home team.  The Wizards will improve on their atrocious offensive efficiency, but so will the Bobcats on d.  With Washington missing arguably their two best players in Nene and John Wall, the Bobcats are all on fairly level ground talent-wise, a pleasant change from last season.