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Game #3: Bobcats @ Pelicans 3-on-3 Preview

Who: New Orleans Hornets vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Hornets Home Game

When: 8:00 PM ET

Where: Live at New Orleans Area, New Orleans, LA

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
New Orleans 0-2 93.4 (24) 107.3 (27) 95.9 (24)
Charlotte 1-1 89.3 (30) 94.1 (8) 96.3 (21)

Previous Meetings:
Not yet.

New Orleans: Ryan Anderson (OUT), Darius Miller (OUT)
Charlotte: Al Jefferson (Questionable)

Starting Lineups

Hornets Bobcats
PG Jrue Holiday Kemba Walker
SG Eric Gordon Gerald Henderson
SF Al-Farouq Aminu Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Anthony Davis Josh McRoberts
C Jason Smith Bismack Biyombo
6th Man Tyreke Evans Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1- STATS. Both of these teams attempt to slow the game down. Which one of these offenses benefits more from keeping the PACE slow?

Brett Hainline: It depends on how well Anthony Davis can handle Al Jefferson one on one.  If Jefferson’s bulk gives Davis trouble, it’s to the Bobcats advantage to keep pounding the ball into the post.  If Davis’ defensive acumen and length get an advantage, I want to see Charlotte running, with Zeller getting up and down the court, and MKG taking off up the court on any defensive rebounds he grabs.

Greg Pietras: New Orleans seems like the pick, if only because they have better long-range shooters that would benefit from open looks. The Bobcats offense looked good in transition on Friday, which isn’t a surprise; between Walker, Henderson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Zeller and Biyombo, they have tons of athleticism. If Al Jefferson can’t play tonight, I’d love to see them blow the doors off.

Dakota Schmidt: With Al Jefferson’s health questionable, I would have to give the edge to the Pelicans. With Cody Zeller leading the way with the trio of MKG, Walker and Henderson, Charlotte could have some success when it comes to working in a more up-tempo style of offense.

2- COACH. Is Ben Gordon not getting one minute through two games the right move?

Brett: Yes.  Ben Gordon was brought in to get an extra draft pick for the Bobcats – and he brings that to the team whether he plays or sits.  With Sessions, Walker, Taylor, and Henderson at the guard spots, someone is left out – Gordon is the right pick, as he does not have a future with this team as it continues to build.

Greg: They’re missing his 3-pointers, but Gordon’s grotesque defense always made him a net minus on the floor. Like Brett points out, Gordon has no future with the team, and the idea of showcasing him for a trade has always felt like a pipe dream. Even if Gordon grumbles behind the scenes, Clifford is making the right call here.

Dakota: Absolutely. At this point, the Bobcats are just in position to continue to watch and develop their young prospects. A majority of those players (Walker, Henderson, Jeff Taylor) are back-court players that leaves things extremely crowded when you add in Ramon Session. Since he was acquired before the 2012-13 season, Gordon has been in the current or future plans for Charlotte so it’s kind of obvious for them to keep him on the bench.

3- Do the Bobcats continue to make us believe they’re mimicking last years start? Pick it.

Brett: Both teams come off a game on the east coast last night, but only the Bobcats won, as the Pelicans managed to lose to the tanktastic Magic.  I’ll take the Cats to make it two in a row, on the strength of their young talent.  Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon on the perimeter for New Orleans does give me pause, between Gordon’s ability from deep, and Holiday’s size advantage on the Bobcats’ point guards, but I’ll stay with the future Hornets over the past Hornets.

Greg: The Pelicans looked like a mess on Friday, and they’re missing some depth due to Ryan Anderson’s injury. That’s why I’ll give a slight edge to Charlotte, despite their poor road play last year. I think the game hinges on Tyreke Evans, though: If he has a big game and keeps their bench scoring afloat, New Orleans could easily take this one.

Dakota: Yes, I think our favorite underdogs are going to sweep their weekend series with a win over the Pelicans. I honestly like how this matchup could look defensively for Charlotte’s backcourt. If I was Steve Clifford, I would work Kemba Walker on the perimeter against Gordon while having either MKG or Jeff Taylor man-up against Jrue Holiday to take away his main strength which would be his size.