Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
|Charlotte||10-11||94.7 (29)||97.4 (4)||95.4 (23)|
|Orlando||6-15||98.4 (24)||102.7 (19)||98.1 (11)|
Charlotte: Bismack Biyombo (OUT), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (OUT)
Orlando: Nikola Vucevic (Questionable)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Jameer Nelson|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Victor Oladipo|
|SF||Jeffery Taylor||Arron Afflalo|
|PF||Josh McRoberts||Andrew Nicholson|
|C||Al Jefferson||Glen Davis|
|6th Man||Ramon Sessions||Jason Maxiell|
With the injury bug creeping into the Bobcats locker room as of late, the team is reportedly trying to add SF depth, via ESPN’s Mark Stein. Head coach Steve Clifford confirmed this morning that the team will add Chris Douglas-Roberts — Douglas-Roberts, a SF who has been with the NBADL Texas Legends + averaging 18.7 PPG. The Bobcats have lost Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for 4-6 weeks with a broken finger and now Jeffery Taylor is nursing a left foot injury that has kept his status uncertain for the near future.
The next SF on the depth chart is Anthony Tolliver, but the team needs to add more depth at the position that could actually contribute on the court right away. Hence, acquiring Douglas-Roberts and waiving undrafted rookie James Southerland. Douglas-Roberts spent two seasons with the Nets where he started 40 games in that time frame. He also spent a season in Milwaukee and Dallas.
The Bobcats will sign Douglas-Roberts as early as today – he should be ready to join the team tomorrow, but his status for Friday in Indiana is unknown.
1- STATS. Orlando is below average in offensive efficiency, defensive efficiency, rebounding + they turn the ball over at a fairly high rate. What’s the one category Charlotte can get the best of Orlando in order to swing this game in their favor?
Spencer: Orlando turns the ball over on 15.8% (23rd) of their total offensive possessions. Charlotte needs force them to at least that clip tonight, if not more, and value their possessions. Sort of the model the Bobcats need to follow every single game, but in a game that is seemingly very winnable, sticking to the winning formula is extremely important. Adding to that, the Bobcats need to flex their muscles in attaining more possessions than Orlando and hang their hat on defensive rebounding percentage — they lead the league in this category at 77.5%.
Mathew: It’s probably still their offensive efficiency and propensity to turn over the ball even though the Bobcats are missing MKG and may well be without the ailing Jeffery Taylor. The Magic are young and have some talent but with youth usually comes turnovers and a general lack of efficiency. The Bobcats need to take advantage of both tonight.
Dakota: As we’ve seen throughout the season, Charlotte is becoming increasingly better as a defensive team which should continue against an inefficient Magic team. While the Bobcats will be without solid defenders like MKG and Jeff Taylor, their overall defensive scheme should be enough to stop an extremely young Orlando team.
2- KEMBA. After a very rough start to the season Kemba Walker has been a different player recently. In the month of December Kemba is averaging 23 PPG, 6.5 APG and shooting 48.5% from the floor. What’s the biggest factor to his turnaround?
Spencer: This is Kemba’s shot chart from the past 5 games — as we can see, he’s getting to his comfort zones: right side of the floor – been exceptional from mid-range + is attacking the basket at a very high rate.
Mathew: Getting into the lane more often. Speed and quickness are Kemba’s greatest strengths on the offensive end of the floor so he needs to make them work for him. So far in the month of December he has. By getting into the lane with more regularity he has increased his number of free-throw attempts as well as his assist rate. What’s decreased? Mid-range jumpers (applause).
Dakota: I could say that he’s just making the open shots that he missed in November, I think another reason why Kemba has been playing to this level is because of Al Jefferson’s overall impact on the team as a huge offensive weapon allowed Kemba to ease out of his slow start.
3- PICK IT. Seems to be another very winnable game for Charlotte. Who ya got?
Spencer: Bobcats. This smells a bit like a letdown game, but again, it’s one that this team must get a result in if we really believe Charlotte can flirt with .500 by season’s end. Orlando could be without their dynamic center, Nikola Vucevic, again tonight – that would certainly help matters.
Mathew: Bobcats. I think a close game is in store but I like the Bobcats in a battle of who gets to 90 points.
Dakota: After Monday’s win against Golden State, I’m extremely optimistic about this Bobcats team so I would give them the advantage over our division foe.