By David Walters
January 12, 2012
D.J. Augustin vs. Jeff Teague
Bobcats starting point guard D.J. Augustin (16.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.0 rebounds) has gotten off to a great start this season and will look to replicate his 21-point, 12-assist performance against the Hawks last Friday… Jeff Teague (11.9 points, 5.6 assists, 1.9 rebounds) has moved into the starting point guard role for the Hawks this season and has played well for Atlanta… Teague has looked more comfortable running the offense as the season has gone on and is coming off a 20-point performance against the Nets… This will be an important matchup to see if Augustin can disrupt Teague and force him into mistakes because the Hawks generally gets wins whenever Teague plays well.
Byron Mullens vs. Greg Monroe
Byron Mullens (11.0 points, 4.7 rebound) continues to pour in points off the bench with his rangy jump shot and accurate free throw shooting, and his confidence seems to grow with each game… Mullens effort on the boards recently has stood out after Coach Silas got on him about making more of an impact in that area… Greg Monroe (14.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists) is having a solid second season, leading the team in scoring, and is the Pistons future at the center position… Monroe gives the Pistons a rebounding presence down low and is a threat to get a double-double every time out… The key to his game is his ability to make an impact on the offensive glass; the Bobcats will have to box him out to limit second chances for the Pistons.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (2-8)
This begins the Bobcats only back-to-back-to-back stretch on their schedule this season… Gerald Henderson (13.9 points, 5.1 assists, 1.6 steals) has played strong and the Bobcats will need his defense and athleticism in these games… DJ White (10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds) has played well since moving back to a reserve role… Charlotte hopes they will have Tyrus Thomas (7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds) back in the lineup, as they will need their depth for this upcoming stretch of games… Kemba Walker (9.9 points, 3.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds) scored a career-high 19 points against Atlanta last Friday and hopefully he will bring more of that kind of energy off the bench for the Bobcats, because they will need to go deep during these games to avoid fatigue.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS (7-4)
Atlanta comes into this game after having their three-game winning streak snapped in Indiana on Wednesday, 96-84… Atlanta’s strong start to the season can be attributed to the Hawks’ core group of players that have grown together over the last few years… Joe Johnson (16.9 points, 3.4 assists) leads the Hawks in scoring this season and Josh Smith (15.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 blocks) has historically played well against the Bobcats… Atlanta will be without small forward Marvin Williams (10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds) and may be without center Al Horford (13.1 points, 7.5 rebounds), who sprained his shoulder in Indiana… The Hawks have had a hot hand as of late and are eighth in the NBA in scoring (98.2 points).
SCOUTING THE PISTONS (2-8)
The Pistons have gotten off to a rocky start this season, and Charlotte will look to defend its home court when Detroit comes to town Friday… Ben Gordon is second on the team in scoring (14.6 points)… Rookie Brandon Knight (11.4 points, 3.5 rebounds) has started four games for Detroit this season but has mostly contributed off the bench… Jonas Jerebko (9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds) and Tayshaun Prince (8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds) round out the Pistons starting lineup… Detroit has the lowest scoring offense in the league (82.8 points).
The Bobcats tip off at 7:30 p.m. against the Hawks in Atlanta on Thursday and they face Detroit at 7 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena® on Friday. You can see both games on SportSouth. You can also catch all the action on WFNZ. Don't forget to join the live chat on bobcats.com.