Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Orlando Magic
What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game
When: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
|Charlotte||37-38||101.4 (22)||101.8 (6)||94.8 (21)|
|Orlando||21-54||99.4 (27)||104.7 (18)||96.1 (15)|
Charlotte: Josh McRoberts (Doubtful), Brendan Haywood (OUT), Jeffery Taylor (OUT)
|PG||Kemba Walker||Jameer Nelson|
|SG||Gerald Henderson||Arron Afflalo|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Maurice Harkless|
|PF||Cody Zeller||Kyle O’Quinn|
|C||Al Jefferson||Nikola Vucevic|
|6th Man||Gary Neal||Tobias Harris|
Charlotte is a week removed from the disappointing loss to the Magic in Orlando. In a game where the Bobcats led by as many as 16 in the first quarter, they were out-rebounded 56-37 + gave up 20 second-chance points. Can this be explained by a simple mental-lapse that night?
Tonight is yet another opportunity for the Bobcats to get to .500, so will it finally happen?
Spencer: Part of last Friday, yes, can be explained by a team that simply didn’t have the focus for four quarters as a playoff bound team should this time of year. Aside from that, Orlando does pose some matchup issues for the Bobcats – Vucevic is a load on the low block and has proven to be solid defender against Jefferson. Tobias Harris is also a tough matchup off the bench due to his versatility – he can really shoot it from outside and is a problem around the rim because of his size.
There is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte will prevail tonight and finally get to .500 on the season. I get the sense that the Bobcats psyche is shaping up the right way for the playoffs. A loss like they had last Friday at Orlando was exactly I think what the team needed – as Clifford referenced earlier this week, the team was feeling a sense of accomplishment that shouldn’t be there. I have to believe that the maturity in the locker room has taken over and this is a group that is focused. Bobcats win easily tonight.
Greg: I’m sure the mental side played into it, but Charlotte had won a tough overtime game against the Nets two nights before, and Orlando was in the middle of a homestand with three days of rest. This late in the season, that can make a difference. The Bobcats should have won, but it happens. Every team drops games they shouldn’t.
The rebounding should be a bit better tonight, at least – with Josh McRoberts doubtful for the game, Cody Zeller will provide a stronger effort on the boards at power forward. Just being at home will help, too, as the Bobcats have been significantly better in Charlotte this year. It should be a relatively close game, since Orlando seems to match up with the Bobcats well, but Orlando struggles to score on most nights. If Charlotte can run out to an early lead, they should be able to hit .500.