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Game Preview: Pacers at Bobcats

Who: Charlotte Bobcats vs Indiana Pacers

What: NBA Basketball – Bobcats Home Game

When: 02/22/2012 at 7pm eastern

Where: Live at Time Warner Cable Arena

Local TV: Fox Sports South

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Charlotte 4-27 92.7 (30) 108.2 (29) 92.9 (19)
Indiana 20-12 101.9 (13) 98.9 (8) 93.0 (15)

Previous Meetings:
01/07/2012 – 99-77 Indiana – RecapBoxscore

02/19/2012 – 108-73 Indiana – RecapBoxscore

Charlotte: Gerald Henderson – Out
Indiana: George Hill – Day to day

Starting Lineups

Bobcats Pacers
PG D.J. Augustin Darren Collison
SG Gerald Henderson Paul George
SF Corey Maggette Danny Granger
PF Boris Diaw David West
C Bismack Biyombo Roy Hibbert
6th Man Kemba Walker Tyler Hansbrough

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network

To go along with the extended preview format, we’re going into overtime with today’s 3-on-3.  5 questions, 3 answers a piece.  Action!

1- FACT or FICTION: Derrick Brown’s recent success on the floor has earned him the chance to crack into the starting lineup as PF (past 10 games: 10.6 PPG, 62.7 FG%)?

Bryan: The Bobcats do need someone in the lineup that can score efficiently, and  as you pointed out, Brown has been doing just that. I don’t know how well he’d hold up against Tyler Hansbrough and the rest of Indiana’s big front court, but then again, no Bobcat could stop them last time, so why not give Brown a shot?

Mathew: FICTION. Although I’m encouraged by Brown’s recent success, I still believe his role in this League will be as an energy guy off the bench. As Brett touched upon in his post earlier today, despite his ineptitude so far this season, if anyone else should be starting at PF it’s Tyrus Thomas.

Brett: FICTION.  But only because of the position listed.  Derrick has played almost exclusively at the 3 this season, and with Corey Maggette in a similar boat to Boris – a Bobcat only because he has to be and not part of the future – I wouldn’t mind Derrick getting the start in front of him.

2- FACT or FICTION: Kemba Walker’s performance on a nightly basis is the most important aspect in determining the amount of success that the Bobcats will achieve this season (past 10 games: 15.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.6 RPG).

Bryan: FICTION. He might dictate the Bobcats season offensively, but the indicator for how well Charlotte plays the rest of the year will be team defense. If the ‘Cats can lock down the paint and force teams into bad shots more often, they’ll will some games. If not, they don’t have the firepower to go up and down with anyone in this league, and they’ll finish with one of the worst winning percentages in NBA hisory.

Mathew: FICTION. Kemba has played well, and at times very well, but for the most part the Bobcats have not been competitive. The most important thing they can do is get healthy, which they will have completely done once Henderson rejoins the team.

Brett: FACT-ish.  The four times the Bobcats have won this year, they’ve had better strong offensive performances as a team, over a point per possession (which isn’t good – but for them, it is).  So, to win, the team needs offense and Kemba is/can be a good source.

3. D.J. Augustin for Tyler Hansbrough – who says no?

Bryan: The Bobcats say no… Unless Charlotte also gets a first round pick and ships out some unwanted baggage (Diop, Thomas, Etc.). I still think the best option for a trade partner is the Lakers. They desperately need a point guard and I doubt they’ll worry about giving up their high-teens to low-20s first round draft pick for Augustin.

Mathew: PACERS. To me, Darren Collison and D.J. Augustin are almost carbon copies of each other. Therefore, it wouldn’t make much sense to bring in another PG who really doesn’t provide an upgrade at the position. Also, the Pacers know they could get more from the Bobcats in exchange for Hansbrough given the value he would add off the court (buzz/ticket sales).

Brett: PACERS.  Same reason as Mathew – D.J. and Darren are too similar.  When I first thought of this trade earlier in the season, D.J. had better numbers, but they’ve dropped recently.

4. Back to Psycho-T: Who gets a bigger ovation tonight when lineups are announced, Hansbrough or the Bobcats?

Bryan: I love overtime! Based on average decibel level, Hansbrough will get the loudest ovation hands down.

Mathew: PSYCHO-T. Easily. Hansbrough was beloved when he played for UNC; and let’s face it – the Tar Heels are still the most popular team in this city, especially given the Bobcats lack of success this season.

Brett: Hansbrough and it won’t be close.  Just like when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin came to town, fans in Charlotte have different rooting interests.  And it can be frustrating.

5. Indiana has crushed the Bobcats in both of the prior meetings this season – any reason tonight is different?

Bryan: Man, my legs are weak and I can barely lift my arms… Gotta push through, though. There’s absolutely no reason the outcome will differ tonight. Kemba plays well, but it won’t be enough to keep the game within 10 points after the first quarter is over. Pacers cruise.

Mathew: I expect a better effort out of the Bobcats – but not a win. The few days off they were afforded should help their legs and hopefully in turn their productivity, but despite their recent struggles the Pacers are still a legitimate playoff team with size – a factor the Bobcats have been unable to counteract this season.

Brett: The win in Toronto provided some optimism and the crushing loss to the Pacers took it right back. With two big losses to the Pacers on the year, Gerald Henderson still out, and little consistency from most of the team, I don’t see this game being close either.