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Game 49 Preview: Nuggets at Bobcats

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Denver Nuggets

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 03/30/2012 at 7pm

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

Coverage: Fox Sports Carolinas

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 7-41 94.3 (30) 108.1 (30) 92.6 (17)
Denver 27-23 106.1 (5) 104.8 (24) 96.0 (2)

Previous Meetings:

Charlotte: Tyrus Thomas – Game time decision; D.J. Augustin – Game time decision
Denver: Rudy Fernandez – Out

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Nuggets
PG D.J. Augustin or Kemba Walker Ty Lawson
SG Gerald Henderson Arron Afflalo
SF Corey Maggette Wilson Chandler
PF Tyrus Thomas or D.J. White Kenneth Faried
C Bismack Biyombo JaVale McGee
6th Man Kemba Walker Al Harrington

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network
1.  Take Your Pick. Who would you rather have for the next ten years – JaVale McGee or Bismack Biyombo?

Bryan: Biyombo hasn’t played a full season yet, but already looks like he can become a solid defensive role player (at worst) or a starting power forward in the mold of Serge Ibaka (at best) depending on who you ask. McGee is more polished player now, but over the long haul, I’d take Biyombo and let him develop.

Spencer: Biyombo. Biz is the youngest player in the NBA, is extremely coachable and wants to learn and play the game the right way. I don’t get the feeling that McGee is committed to any of the above.

Jenn: If we are talking talent, I’d take Biyombo.  Biyombo has great potential and has already shown significant improvement since the beginning of the season.  If we are talking entertainment value, though, you have to go with JaVale McGee.  Any player with an alter ego named Pierre and the raw talent of McGee is going to be a franchise favorite.

2.  Strategy. Denver ranks 4th in the NBA in rebounding differential according to www.hoopdata.com, while Charlotte ranks 28th. How do the Bobcats counteract the Nuggets advantage on the boards?

Bryan: By getting to the glass, finishing layups and getting fouled. If the Bobcats settle for jumpers all night, those shots will turn into long rebounds which will become transition buckets for the Nuggets. On the defensive glass, the ‘Cats bigs just have to play smart and get in position after every shot.

Spencer: The Bobcats will struggle on the boards tonight- just like every other night. It may help that Nene is now with the Wizards and much of this stat is likely because of his presence in Denver. Nonetheless, a frontline of McGee/Mosgov/Faried is one that Charlotte will struggle with.

Jenn: Between McGee, Faried and Mozgov, the Nuggets have the paint on lockdown.  Where the Bobcats can gain traction is at the point guard position.  Given Augustin’s injuries/inability to perform of late, expect the Bobcats to rely heavily on Walker.  This game will be won and lost in the matchup between Walker and Lawson.  Lawson scored a season high 27 points on Monday and 26 points on Wednesday: effectively defending Ty will be key to a Bobcats win tonight.

3.  The Winner. The Nuggets are coming off a loss Wednesday in Toronto while the Bobcats are losers of six straight. Do the Bobcats surprise and pull this one out or is the size and depth of Denver too much to overcome?

Bryan: Oddly enough, Toronto has knocked off some good teams this month in Houston, Memphis, New York and Denver, so getting knocked off by the Raptors isn’t as horrible as it seems. Still, Denver is way too good of a team to lose back to back games against sub-.500 competition. I’m taking Denver by a lot.

Spencer: No surprise in this one. Nuggets boast the number one offensive rating in the league and may drop 115+ tonight in the ‘Cable Box’. Nuggets easily take care of this one and put themselves back on the right side of the western conference playoff bubble.

Jenn: The Bobcats are the first team officially out of playoff contention.  That said, the 27-24 Nuggets are desperately vying for a seed in the West.  Although the Nuggets have been somewhat inconsistent lately, this is a much more significant game for Denver than it is for Charlotte.  That said, the Nuggets will come out victorious tonight, but the Bobcats will keep it within 10.