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Game 65 Preview: Bobcats @ Magic- In the midst of a media storm

The news surrounding this Bobcats team today had less to do with the on-court issues and more to do with a disgruntled  ex-head coach. Larry Brown came on the ‘Dan Patrick Show’ this morning and expressed his feeling towards Jordan and the Bobcats front office by describing that it makes him “sick”.

Shortly after Brown came out with his comments, Jordan did an interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer to defend himself, his front office and the decisions for the franchise. Here’s the link to that interview (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/04/25/3198262/michael-jordan-defends-bobcats.html) where Jordan consistently insist that his front office staff is not full of ‘yes men’, or only people who are afraid to tell him what they believe is right for the team.

Now, that’s just a short synopsis of the morning and what unveiled itself after Larry Brown fired the first shots on radio. You would certainly hope that this group of players in the Charlotte locker room could take some pride from all of this and leave it all on the floor for their team, owner and franchise that has taken an absolute beating by the national media today and in the previous weeks. Something in my brain also makes me think otherwise, though.

The Bobcats will get an Orlando team tonight that is currently on a 3-game losing streak. The Bobcats also defeated the Magic at home earlier in the season 100-84. Dwight Howard is now out for the season and Orlando has many question marks of their own to answer. The Magic only need to win one of their final two games in order to lock themselves into the number three seed in the eastern conference and avoid a matchup with Miami in the first round. I would dare to say they’ve got tonight’s game circled as one they should come away with as winners.

3-on-3 TrueHoop NetworkBrett Hainline, Mathew Lewis, Jenn Kimbal & guest Eddy Rivera from ‘Magic Basketball’ take on some questions, 3-on-3 style, leading up to tonight’s matchup.

1- MATCHUP. Paul Silas has vowed that he’d play Biyombo against more PF’s as the season winds down, but when considering the style of game that Ryan Anderson has, stretching defenders far away from the basket, is it likely Silas will look to a quicker rotation player to draw the assignment?

Brett Hainline: I’d prefer for him to challenge Bismack by having him defend against Anderson – it certainly seems preferable to Mullens attempting to check him on the perimeter (and losing sight of him for easy baskets).

Mathew Lewis: Yes. Coach Silas may very well want to expose Biyombo to more PF”s, but I doubt he goes that waytonight in the matchup against Anderson. Sure, Anderson plays PF for the Magic and rebounds relatively well, but his game is based predominately outside. I don’t know if it’s ever going to be advantageous strategically for the Bobcats to be play a great shot blocker such as Biyombo away from the basket.

Jenn Kimbal: As the season rapidly winds down, it is more important to give Biyombo experience playing against someone like Anderson than to worry about creating an ideal matchup at the PF position.  Further, there’s not a great option behind Biyombo to take on this challenge.

2- OPINION. The Dwight Howard saga has taken a tole on everyone associated with the Magic organization and I feel as if I’ve heard every opinion there is to hear, but in the absence of Howard Glen Davis has been huge for Orlando. ‘Big Baby’ has averaged 33.5 MPG, 17.7 PPG & 9.5 RPG in the eleven games in the month of April. Should Davis be a starting PF in this league?

Brett: I remember hoping that Davis would fall to the Bobcats in the second round the year he came out, but instead CLT wound up with Jermareo Davidson as Davis went a pick ahead.  And I’d still take him on the Bobcats.  But I don’t see him as a full-time starter (well, he would be on CLT, but that’s different).  This has been a nice run for Davis offensively, but he is still a bit lacking defensively and think he’d be better as the first big off the bench.

Eddy Rivera (Magic Basketball): No. Davis is better served as a starting center, though that comes with one major drawback defensively — his height. The Magic are experiencing those pains all too well right now. Even though Davis is best utilized at the center position, his inability to protect the rim (due to his height and limited athleticism) really puts Orlando’s defense in a bind.

Mathew: No. At least not on a competitor. Davis is not a strong defender, though he does have skills on the offensive end that make you consider his value. I see Davis’ best use as an off the bench guy who can score 8-12 points and give you some energy, much in the way the Celtics utilized him over the past few years.

3- PICK IT. Orlando needs one win to clinch the 6th seed in the eastern conference playoffs while Charlotte needs one win to avoid being dubbed the worst team in NBA history.

Brett: Orlando.  After the Bobcats’ last two games, pride does not seem to be enough motivation.

Mathew: Magic. If you really think the Bobcats are going to win then put your money where your mouth is. I haven’t checked the line but I believe you would be compensated mightily for such a bold pick.

Jenn: Sorry Cats, but I think the Magic want and need this one more.  Even if the Bobcats do pull out a win, that doesn’t take them out of the qualitative discussion of the worst team in NBA history.