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Game #19: Bobcats @ Mavs 2-on-3 Preview

Who: Dallas Mavericks vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Mavericks Home Game

When: 8:30 PM ET

Where: Live at American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Dallas 10-8 105.8 (6) 104.3 (25) 98.8 (9)
Charlotte 8-10 93.4 (29) 97.6 (4) 94.8 (25)

Previous Meetings:

Dallas: Jose Calderon (Probable)

Starting Lineups

Mavericks Bobcats
PG Jose Calderon Kemba Walker
SG Monta Ellis Gerald Henderson
SF Shawn Marion Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Dirk Nowitzki Josh McRoberts
C Samuel Dalembert Al Jefferson
6th Man Vince Carter Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1- STATS. This is a clash of opposites. Dallas ranks 6th in offensive efficiency, while Charlotte pulls up the rear at 29th. Charlotte is 4th in defensive efficiency, but Dallas is struggling at 25th currently. Do these stats balance each other out and create a good matchup, or is there another statistical category that we should be focusing on more?

Spencer: The stat that Greg mentions is indeed the most telling – just to add a quick tidbit to that as well — Charlotte leads the NBA in % of points that come from the FT line at 22%. This is a game that Ramon Sessions could feast on – sprint towards the rim with the ball as hard as you can, throw the ball in the air and flail your arms in the air. Kind of exactly his game.

Greg: It’s an interesting matchup on paper. The one area where Charlotte might be able to take advantage is at the stripe — they’re very good at drawing free throws (5th in the league in FT/FGA) and Dallas is foul-prone, ranking 29th in defensive FT/FGA. That tends to give the Bobcats a boost: They’ve attempted an average of 30.5 free throws in their wins vs. 26.0 in their losses. Without much scoring punch, Charlotte needs to earn those freebies and do their best to limit Dallas offensively.

2- MONTA ELLIS. He’s got the highest usage rate (26.4) of any SG in the NBA and is sporting an impressive PER (19.26). Not to mention that Monta is shooting 47.6% from the floor and is averaging 5.6 APG. Needless to say, he’s having an awesome year and doing a ton for Dallas right now. How does Charlotte slow him down?

Spencer: Defending the PnR will be very important going up against Ellis – Per MySynergysports.com, 44.5% of his offensive sequences come from Monta being the PnR ball handler. 47.8% of these offensive sequences end in points for Dallas. Hence, a lot of their offense comes from Monta being the PnR ball handler considering the fact that his usage rate is so high. May not be a bad idea to go ahead and blitz Ellis with his defender + the ball screen defender, rotate hard to Dirk and neutralize how much this PnR duo can hurt you by forcing the ball into one of the other three guys hands on the floor.

Greg: Charlotte is lucky that they have a nice defensive wing trio of Gerald Henderson, Jeff Taylor and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to match up with Ellis. Not only can they mix and match to see who guards him best, but Ellis is one of the best guards in the league at drawing contact and fouls, at an average of 5.0 personal fouls against per game. In general, the Bobcats are good at avoiding fouls, so that should hopefully limit Ellis somewhat and keep them out of foul trouble.

3- PICK IT. The Bobcats did have a day’s rest after their emotional loss in Miami on Sunday, but what can we expect from this bunch tonight? Who ya got?

Spencer: Dallas. I’m expecting a letdown game tonight after the Miami game on Sunday. I just smell a bad defensive performance coming from the Bobcats + now that we have word that Calderon went through shoot around, it appears as if they’ll have their starting PG.

Greg: I’m going with Dallas. The Bobcats looked very good against the Heat, but Charlotte’s struggling against high-quality opponents. They’re 0-6 against teams currently .500 or better, and 0-3 against Western Conference teams. I just need to see them beat a few good teams before I’ll buy in.