Game #39: Bobcats vs. Knicks 1-on-3 Preview + new PodCats episode -

Game #39: Bobcats vs. Knicks 1-on-3 Preview + new PodCats episode

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs New York Knicks

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Charlotte, N.C.

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Efficiency
Defensive
Efficiency
Pace
Charlotte 15-23 97.0 (28) 101.1 (8) 95.0 (21)
New York 15-22 102.1 (17) 104.7 (20) 92.4 (30)

Injuries:
Charlotte: Jeff Taylor (OUT), Brendan Haywood – remember him? (OUT)
New York: Tyson Chandler (Questionable), Beno Udrih (DTD), Pablo Prigioni (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Knicks
PG Kemba Walker Raymond Felton
SG Gerald Henderson Iman Shumpert
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Carmelo Anthony
PF Josh McRoberts Andrea Bargnani
C Al Jefferson Kenyon Martin
6th Man Ramon Sessions J.R. Smith

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network First off, your favorite podcast is continuing to roll out the best content out there on the airwaves – check out the latest episode of PodCats where Doug Branson, Derek James (RufusOnFire.com) and myself (Spencer Percy) talked the return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

1- STREAKING. The Knicks come into tonight on a 5-game winning streak and now officially in the playoff standings at #8 – what has led to the surge from this group as of late?

Gregory Pietras, Rufus On Fire: Games against the 76ers and Pistons can’t hurt, but they’ve been winning with defense over that stretch. In raw numbers, they allowed 89 points per game over the last five games compared to a season average of 98 points. When adjusting for pace, that’s a defensive rating of 95.3 vs 104.7.

In particular, opponents have struggled to shoot threes, hitting only 24.3 percent of their attempts. If that trend continues, it probably works in the Bobcats’ favor: They don’t have any shooters to take away, and a grinding, defensive battle could play into their favor. It mostly depends on how much Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s return can patch over their recent defensive struggles. See No. 2 below.

2- MKG. He’ll be back in the starting lineup tonight for Charlotte and it couldn’t come at a better time with the defense reeling – what kind of impact can we expect?

Gregory: Probably smaller than you’d hope, but still meaningful. The defense has taken a slide since Kidd-Gilchrist went out, but a large part of that can be blamed on a tougher schedule that included a brutal Western Conference road swing. Still, MKG is without a doubt their best individual defender and just taking minutes away from Chris Douglas-Roberts and Anthony Tolliver will be a net plus. In general, Kidd-Gilchrist tends to deflate the offense, but the healthy starting lineup of Walker/Henderson/Kidd-Gilchrist/McRoberts/Jefferson has been excellent, posting significantly better numbers than when MKG is swapped out for any other small forward.
mkgimpact
Again, the Bobcats had a relatively soft schedule while Kidd-Gilchrist was around. But despite concerns about his offense, there’s fair evidence that the Bobcats’ best shot at winning basketball is with MKG front and center.

3- PICK IT. If the Bobcats plan on staying in the playoff hunt, they need to end this losing streak quickly. Charlotte has dropped 8 of its last 9 games. Who ya got tonight?

Gregory: I think this is a schedule loss for the Knicks. They played a tough overtime game against the Suns last night, then immediately flew from New York to Charlotte. The Bobcats, in the meantime, have had three days off and can probably smell blood. Working MKG back into the lineup might be awkward, but it can’t be any more awkward than everything else they’ve done recently.

Spencer
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