By David Walters
January 17, 2012
Byron Mullens vs. Ryan Anderson
This matchup boasts two of the NBAs most improved players this season in Mullens and Anderson... Mullens has had a breakout season and is currently entrenched as the team's starting center after coming to the Bobcats in a trade... He has been one of the Bobcats most consistent players this season and has averaged 15.7 points and 8.7 rebounds over his last three games... While Mullens jump shot has been the focal point of his game, his improved rebounding numbers are encouraging as Mullens has become more comfortable with his role on the team... In Monday's game he grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds to go with nine points... Anderson has also had a breakout season this year for the Magic... Originally an afterthought as a "throw-in" on the Vince Carter trade, Anderson has averaged 18.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season while knocking down 43-of-96 3-pointers… His ability to stretch the floor with his jumper helps open things up for big man Dwight Howard... Anderson just scored a career-high 30 points last night against the Knicks and will look to continue his hot shooting against the Bobcats... While these two players play different positions, they are very similar in that both of them are able to stretch the floor with their long shooting range causing their opposing defenders to move out along the perimeter.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (3-11)
The Bobcats come into this game having dropped Monday afternoon's matchup against the Cavaliers, 94-102... D.J. Augustin (15.4 point, 7.4 assists) scored 13 of his team-high 24 points in the second quarter against the Cavs and has been the steady hand this season for Charlotte... In the two games that rookie Kemba Walker has started, he has put up impressive numbers (18.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.00 steals, 1.5 blocks) as his minutes have increased sharply... Gerald Henderson (14.6 points, 4.7 rebounds) has played well this season and has started the last couple of games at the three spot in Coach Silas' smaller lineup... Since the lineup change, the Bobcats have played with more energy as evidenced by their double-digit halftimes leads in their two games since the switch... The third quarter has been a problem for Charlotte as they seem to either give up big leads or let their opponent pull away... Look for that trend to stop as the Bobcats get more comfortable in their small lineup with two playmakers on the floor in Augustin and Walker... Charlotte will travel to Chicago for their next contest against the Bulls on Saturday at 8 p.m.
SCOUTING THE MAGIC (9-3)
The Magic come into this game on a four-game win streak punctuated by a 102-93 win over the Knicks Monday night... Dominant big man Dwight Howard (19.4 points, 14.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks) has continued to be a monster in the middle and has always been a tough matchup for the Bobcats... In Howard's last game against Charlotte this season he pulled down 24 rebounds to go with 20 points and three blocks... Forward Hedo Turkoglu (14.4 points, 5.1 assists) has been a key playmaker for the Magic and sixth man J.J. Redick (12.9 points) has had a career season off the bench... Orlando is annually one of the best teams around the perimeter and this season is no different; Charlotte will have to step up their perimeter defense and make sure they don't give them too many opportunities... The Magic are 8-0 this season when they score 100+ points.
The Bobcats tipoff against the Magic at 7 p.m. at the Amway Center in Orlando. 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. You can also join the Bobcats Watch Party presented by Budweiser and hosted by Big Pat and the Lady Cats at Jocks & Jills at 7 p.m.