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Game 61 Preview: Bobcats vs Bulls

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Chicago Bulls

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 7 PM ET

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 7-53 94.4 (30) 108.8 (30) 92.4 (18)
Chicago 46-15 105.4 (6) 97.4 (3) 90.9 (25)

Previous Meetings:
20120121 – 89-95 – RecapBoxscore

20120210 – 64-95 – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: D.J. Augustin- OUT, Reggie Williams- OUT
Chicago: Derrick Rose- OUT, Luol Deng- DOUBTFUL

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Bulls
PG Kemba Walker C.J. Watson
SG Gerald Henderson Ronnie Brewer
SF Derrick Brown Richard Hamilton
PF Bismack Biyombo Carlos Boozer
C Byron Mullens Joakim Noah
6th Man Tyrus Thomas Kyle Korver

3-on-3 TrueHoop NetworkCharlotte will take on the eastern conference’ best Chicago Bulls tonight. Chicago will likely be without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, so the matchup shouldn’t be as lopsided as projected, on paper at least. The Bulls have taken the first two games of the season series and tonight is Charlotte’s last chance to avoid being swept by yet another opponent. The Bobcats will be without starting PG D.J. Augustin again tonight. Coach Silas says he plans to match Biyombo up against Boozer tonight and more PF’s in the future, taking the pressure of guarding bigger centers every night off his shoulders. Here is the QCH panel answering some of the questions leading up to tonight’s game.

1- PLAY OR SIT? Derrick Rose is likely to miss yet another game again tonight for Chicago and Luol Deng is questionable. The Bulls were without Rose and Deng on Monday night at home, where they fell to the Wizards- their lead for the top spot in the east also fell to 2 1/2 games. Chicago will play in Miami tomorrow night. Knowing all of this, can the Bulls afford to sit Rose and Deng again tonight in Charlotte?

Brett Hainline: Boston played without Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, yet still managed to beat the Bobcats behind Rajon Rondo and their bench.  Chicago will be able to do the same, with the names changed.  Boozer, Noah, and company will get the job done.

Jenn Kimbal: SIT.  Although the Bulls would ideally want to play Rose and Deng tonight, it is much more imperative to their playoff success that these key figures are healthy and well-rested.  Further, between Noah, Boozer and Hamilton, the Bulls easily have the talent to pull out the win.

Bryan Wendland: Sit ’em. Even without Rose and Deng, Chicago is so good defensively they can still beat the Bobcats by double digits. I think the Bulls really need to clinch the one seed to get by Miami in the finals, so resting their two best players against one of the worst teams in NBA history before a matchup with the Heat would be a good idea.

2- OVER/UNDER. If you thought Monday night was an unbearable game to watch, tonight could actually be worse. In the month of April Charlotte is the worst offensively efficient team in the league and Chicago is the second worst. O/U 150 total points tonight?

Brett: Over on 150.  But I may take the under on the Bobcats getting to 75.  Monday night was a case of bad offense matching bad offense, not good defense.  Chicago will be able to score against the Bobcats.

Jenn: OVER. Despite Thibodeau’s seemingly calm demeanor regarding the Bulls’ loss to the Wizards, he clearly expects a lot from himself and his team.  Even without Rose and Deng, the Bulls will pull out a significant win tonight for the sake of morale and maintaining the number one seed in the east.  Despite a lackluster offensive efficiency in April, the Bulls still rank 6th in OE over the course of the entire season.

Bryan: Just over. I know bad defense doesn’t always lead to an opponent generating good offense, but Charlotte is so bad defensively that I can still see the Bulls dropping at least 90 points tonight. It’ll be up to the Bobcats to get over that 60 point hump.

3- COACH? I’m not going to ask what anybody thinks has to happen in order for the Bobcats to win tonight…You’re the coach and you have one full practice to work on one thing with this team. Of all the awful tendencies Charlotte has, what’s the one thing you’d attempt to change first?

Brett: Let’s see:  Work on Bismack’s hands and hesitation with the ball in the post.  Bryon Mullens on defensive positioning and help defense.  Kemba Walker and Tyrus Thomas – shot selection, fewer jumpers.  Gerald Henderson – work on extending the range of his jumper to the three-point line, so he stops taking so many midrange jumpers.  That’s the first item I’d change for those 5.

Jenn: With limited depth, the Bobcats need to focus on putting the ball in the hands of a few key players.  Getting open shots for Henderson and Biyombo will be key if the team wants any chance to win tonight.

Bryan: Good lord, where to begin. I guess if it were up to me, I’d work on defense the entire practice. If the Bobcats end up drafting Anthony Davis, the entire philosophy of the team will be built around defense. Might as well get a head start with the guys who are already here.