By David Walters
January 23, 2012
Kemba Walker vs. Iman Shumpert
This matchup boasts two rookie point guards in Walker and Shumpert… Walker has started the past five games for the Bobcats and may be asked to handle more of the load against the Knicks depending on D.J. Augustin’s status… The Bobcats will need Walker’s speed and ability to create scoring opportunities in a game where there could be plenty… Shumpert has played well for the Knicks this season and has moved into the starting point guard role… He has averaged 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games against the Bobcats so far this year and is a good defender as well… With both Walker and Shumpert thrust into bigger roles for their teams, the matchup between these two rookies will have a large impact on the outcome.
Gerald Henderson vs. Nick Young
Henderson (15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, .474 FG%) is the Bobcats leading scorer this season and has scored 22 or more points in three of his last five games… He has embraced his role on this team as an aggressive scorer and has been one of the team’s strongest defenders as well… It seems like he is gaining confidence in himself as the season moves along and that bodes well for Charlotte… Young (16.4 points, 2.4 rebounds) has averaged 21.6 points per game over his last five outings and can score from all over the floor with his shooting range and ability to draw fouls… The Wizards rely on Young for his scoring ability, so Henderson’s defense could play a large role in whether or not Washington gets its offense going.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (3-14)
The Bobcats come into these matchups on a four-game skid and will be looking to get back on track against a Knicks team they’ve already beaten once this season and the listless Wizards… Point guard D.J. Augustin (13.6 points, 6.6 assists) has started every game for the Bobcats this season but his availability for this game is yet to be determined due to a toe injury that caused him to leave Sunday’s game… Byron Mullens (12.1 points, 5.2 rebounds) will look to rebound from a season-low two points on Sunday, and DJ White (9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds) has continued to play well and has been the team’s most consistent shooter at 54.3 percent, but he’s also battling a knee contusion that caused him to miss Sunday’s contest… Boris Diaw has averaged 23.0 points in the Bobcats two games against the Knicks this season… Rookie Bismack Biyombo has come on strong lately for the Bobcats and has averaged 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks over the last three games, showing how the Bobcats have continued to develop their young talent throughout this season… After this back-to-back the Bobcats will travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Friday.
SCOUTING THE KNICKS (6-10)
The Knicks come into this game on a six-game losing streak and will try to fix that against the Bobcats… New York’s All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony (25.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists) has been playing with a myriad of injuries as of late… Amar’e Stoudemire (17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds) has had two very strong games against the Bobcats so far this year, scoring a season-high 25 points to go with season high 12 rebounds in both games… The Knicks also have the lanky Tyson Chandler (9.9 points, 9.7 rebounds) as a defensive anchor in the paint… The Knicks come back to Charlotte for the last game of the regular season on April 26.
SCOUTING THE WIZARDS (2-14 as of 1/23)
Southeast division foe Washington is currently on a league-worst, and is the only team in the league with less wins than the Bobcats… The Wizards boast former top pick John Wall (16.4 points, 7.9 assists, 5.4 rebounds) who is quick and athletic but still growing into his role and shooting 38 percent from the field… Wall’s running mate, center JaVale McGee, is strong on the offensive glass and has a penchant for blocking shots… Andray Blatche (10.7 points, 7.8 rebounds) has had an inconsistent season but second year guard Jordan Crawford (10.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists) is getting better and could be an X-factor for the Wizards in this game…
The Bobcats tipoff against the Knicks at 7:00 p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday before traveling to Washington to face the Wizards at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join us for the live chats on bobcats.com.