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Game 60 Preview: Bobcats vs Hornets

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs New Orleans Hornets

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 7-52 94.7 (30) 109.2 (30) 92.4 (18)
New Orleans 18-42 99.4 (26) 103.8 (17) 89.8 (30)

Previous Meetings:
20120312 – 73-71 – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: Corey Maggette- OUT, Reggie Williams-OUT, Eduardo Najera- OUT
New Orleans: Jarrett Jack- OUT

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Hornets
PG D.J. Augustin Grevis Vasquez
SG Gerald Henderson Eric Gordon
SF Derrick Brown Al-Farouq Aminu
PF Bismack Biyombo Jason Smith
C Byron Mullens Chris Kaman
6th Man Kemba Walker Trevor Ariza

3-on-3 TrueHoop NetworkThe Bobcats may have their last shot at realistically winning a game tonight at home against New Orleans. Charlotte took the first meeting from the Hornets on March 12th in New Orleans when Bismack Biyombo delivered an emphatic block on Trevor Ariza as time expired to help the Cats hang on for a two-point win. Joe Gerrity, from TrueHoop’s ‘Hornets247’ blog stops by to help us answer the questions leading into tonight’s game.

1- The Hornets have had their new franchise player Eric Gordon back from injury since April 4th and Gordon has helped the Hornets win 5 of their last 7 games. In 7 games played this season, Gordon has averaged 20.7 PPG. Which Bobcat will endure the embarrassment of having to guard Gordon tonight?

Joe Gerrity (Hornets247): Well I can’t say for sure, but I imagine it will mostly be Gerald Henderson. He’s got the athleticism, size, and quickness to stick with Gordon. He won’t shut him down, that’s for sure, but Henderson strikes me as really the only guy on the Bobcats who stands much of a chance if Gordon is at full speed on the second night of a back-to-back.

Spencer Percy: It’s got to be Henderson. I keep waiting for Hendo to get the upper hand on a player of Gordon’s caliber this season, but it just isn’t happening. Hendo has certainly taken a step back as an on-the-ball defender this season, but tonight is another great opportunity.

Mathew Lewis: More than likely Henderson. Henderson is getting better as a defender, but Gordon should win this matchup rather handily.

2- In these two clubs last meeting Bismack Biyombo highlighted the rare Bobcats victory with a last second block at the rim on Trevor Ariza. Which player provides the performance to put his team over the top tonight?

Joe: That block was awesome. I was about ten feet away and it sparked a long conversation in the media room with some of your colleagues about whether or not he’s the real deal. The Charlotte writers seem convinced that he is. Anyway, you’re going to see one or two Hornets players that have efficient scoring nights, which will be one or two more players than Charlotte has performing that same feat. Last night it was Gordon and Landry. Tonight I imagine it’ll be Kaman and Gordon.

Spencer: It’s one of the last realistic chances the Bobcats have to win a game this season and I’m going to take them at home. That being said, I believe that Hendo and Kemba really go off tonight in the scoring department. Optimistically thinking, I’m hoping that Hendo will keep Gordon at bay and make this one another low scoring affair that can swing in the direction of Charlotte, similar to the last meeting in NOLA.

Mathew: Gordon. NOLA probably wouldn’t have been a playoff team had Gordon suited up all season, but they’re markedly better with him on the court. He’s a legit scorer and budding star, one of the many things the Bobcats lack.

3- Joe: If new NOLA owner, Tom Benson, is serious about changing the Hornets nickname, what should it be?

QCH: Which would you rather have- a Bobcats victory tonight to avoid the franchise worst 16-game losing streak, or the Hornets nickname returned to Charlotte where it belongs?

Joe: So many good ones, so little time. Let’s start with me personal favorite– The Krewe of New Orleans. It’s unique, it’s culturally relevant, and it will confuse the heck of out networks who have media templates that require location and team name. After that I head to things like New Orleans Brass (in reference to the musical history of the city), or New Orleans Soul (same thing). Benson owns the name “pelicans”, but I’m not sure if I can be a fan of a team named after a wimpy bird that I’ve caught unintentionally while fishing.

Spencer: Hornets nickname and it’s not even close. To Mathew’s point, the franchise needs a total makeover and with Anthony Davis likely headed to Charlotte by the end of the summer, you now have your franchise face and the timing for a branding change couldn’t be better.

Mathew: Hornets nickname. The franchise badly needs a makeover. Anthony Davis would be a great start – though if we were to consider the sage brand management expertise of Mad Men’s Don Draper, I say he would give the Bobcats the following advice: “just change the name and hope your customers think it’s a new product”. Here’s to hoping they follow Don’s advice while also improving the product.

You can follow Joe Gerrity on Twitter- @GerrityJoe