Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Milwaukee Bucks
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 3/23/2012 at 7pm eastern
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena
Coverage: Fox Sports South
|Charlotte||7-37||94.0 (30)||108.2 (29)||92.6 (18)|
|Milwaukee||21-25||103.5 (8)||103.7 (20)||94.5 (6)|
Charlotte: Corey Maggette – Game time decision; Eduardo Najera – Out
|PG||D.J. Augustin||Brandon Jennings|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Monta Ellis|
|SF||Corey Maggette||Carlos Delfino|
|PF||Tyrus Thomas||Ersan Ilyasova|
|C||Bismack Biyombo||Drew Gooden|
|6th Man||Kemba Walker||Mike Dunleavy|
1. Drew Gooden was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference player of the week for last week, with averages of nearly 18pts, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists in 3 games. He came back to Earth against the Celtics last night, with just 6 points. How does Bismack handle one of the league’s more inconsistent, but talented, scorers?
Spencer: Biyombo will pose some problems for Gooden because of his length- especially with Gooden trying to work around the rim. If Gooden has done his homework on Biyombo, though, he’ll understand ball fakes and pulling Biyombo away from the basket will benefit him significantly.
Bryan: I’m going strictly based on the fact that Biyombo has a good game one night and a bad one the next, so since he had a pretty bad one (aside from the nine rebounds) against Philly, I think he at least comes close to winning his match-up with Gooden.
Mathew: For starters, keep him off the boards, particularly on the offensive end. Gooden is not a great mid-range shooter so Bismack will also need to stay on his feet and fight the urge to bite on pump fakes. Simply put a hand in Gooden’s face and live with the outcome.
2. Earlier in the season, the Bobcats played Kemba Walker and D.J. Augustin together more regularly, though partly due to injuries. The duo has seen only about 20 minutes of court time together in the last month, but does that change against Milwaukee’s backcourt of Jennings and Ellis?
Spencer: I don’t really think so. I would expect Henderson to be matched up against Ellis often on defense and for Kemba to rotate in as Milwaukee brings in their second unit. Silas has settled in to the fact that Kemba benefits the team more by coming in with Charlotte’s and against other team’s second units.
Bryan: If the Bobcats want to try to match the Bucks’ back court duo in scoring, Walker and Augustin will almost have to see the floor at the same time tonight. Still, I think Silas and co. are looking out for the long term development of Kemba, and because of that, he’ll probably continue to come off the bench for Augustin against the Bucks.
Mathew: Not really. Although per www.basketball-reference.com, of all the lineups that have been on the floor for at least 10 minutes this season a combination which features both Walker and Augustin is one of only thirteen that have yielded a positive point differential per 100 possessions (+7.7 points, ranking 10th). However, this lineup has only been used 10 minutes over the course of the season. Most troubling when you look at the most oft-utilized lineups? The 10 lineup combinations logging the most minutes so far this season are sporting a negative point differential per 100 possessions (if you want to see for yourself, sort by MP (minutes played) after clicking the link above).
3. Milwaukee is in the middle game of a back to back to back, playing at home last night against the Celtics and returning home to face the Pacers tomorrow after the game tonight. Can a rested Bobcats squad take advantage?
Spencer: The Bobcats two occasions where they came into a contest on 3+ days rest this season they are 0-2 with an average losing margin of 10.5 PPG. That being said, Charlotte has already defeated Milwaukee once this season in the home opener- they’ve got a shot, but the Bucks Ellis/Jennings combination will prove too much tonight.
Bryan: Charlotte almost always burns me when I predict a victory, so I’m going to say no. I realize there hasn’t been much (any) statistical analysis in my reasoning today, but sometimes you just have to go with your gut, and since the Bobcats laid an egg and made me look like a fool with my pants on the ground (is that still popular?) after getting blown out by the ‘Sixers, I can’t pick them tonight.
Mathew: I foresee a competitive game, but one that the Bucks eventually come out of with the win. Before the loss to Boston last night, they had won six in a row and were playing good basketball. I think their offensive firepower will be a little too much for the Bobcats to handle tonight.