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Keys to Win Final 2

By Mark Kern
bobcats.com
April 25, 2012

KEY MATCHUPS
Gerald Henderson vs. J.J. Redick

Gerald Henderson has been the most consistent Bobcats player this season, averaging 14.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists… When the two matched up on March 6, Henderson scored 16 points, using his strength to overpower Redick in the post … Henderson has been on a tear as of late, averaging 20.0 points in his last five games and is able to score in many different ways including a mid-range jumper and by attacking the rim off the dribble. He is also a solid defender and will be tested against Redick… The former Duke star is averaging 11.3 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds for the Magic… When he entered the NBA, he was strictly known as a 3-point shooter and still shoots a lot of threes, with nearly 46 percent of his shot attempts coming from deep, but he is now capable of attacking the rim as well… Look for Henderson to try and exploit Redick on the offensive end. If he is able to dominate like he did on March 6, then the Bobcats have a shot to beat the Magic for the second-straight time.

D.J. Augustin vs. Iman Shumpert
D.J. Augustin is averaging 10.8 points, 6.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds but has had to battle injuries for much of the season… He returned from a knee injury against the Wizards on March 23 and finished the game with 15 points and six assists… Augustin gets the ball to his teammates in the best situations for them to get a good shot but also use his quickness to get by his defender… He will have a tough matchup as he goes up against the equally quick but 6-5 Iman Shumpert. In a draft class dominated by point guards, he has played every bit as well as his counterparts, averaging 9.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists… However, it his defense that is quickly earning the respect of people around the league. On April 15 against the Miami Heat, Shumpert was able to steal the ball from Dwyane Wade on consecutive possessions for fastbreak baskets... Look for the Bobcats to set a lot of picks for Augustin to help create some space against the length of Shumpert.

SCOUTING THE MAGIC (36-28)
When the Bobcats beat the Magic 100-84, the Magic were playing well and led by center Dwight Howard… However, Howard is out for the year after deciding to have back surgery and the Magic have not been the same since. They have lost 10 of their last 14 games, and are now currently the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. What made the Magic so effective in the past, is that they were able to run their offense through Howard and spread the court out with 3-point shooters… However, without Howard, the Magic are very one-dimensional on the offensive end… In the previous two matchups, Bismack Biyombo played well against the Magic matched up with Howard. Look for Biyombo to have a strong game against Orlando.

SCOUTING THE KNICKS (34-30 as of 4/24)
Some skeptics were concerned the return of Amare Stoudemire would take Carmelo Anthony out of his rhythm. However, if their 113-112 victory at Atlanta on April 22 was a sign of things to come, then the Knicks are going to be a tough out in the playoffs… They have changed their offense with Anthony running point-forward, allowing guys like J.R. Smith, Steve Novak and Landry Fields to hang around the 3-point line for wide open jumpers. The question about this team is if they will get enough stops at the end of the game… With Tyson Chandler manning the middle, this allows the Knicks to gamble a little more on the perimeter. If the Bobcats can attack Tyson Chandler and get him in foul trouble, this should open up the paint for drives to the basket.

TUNE IN
The Bobcats will be in Orlando for a 7 p.m. tip on April 25 at Amway Arena. Join us for the Bobcats Watch Party at Selwyn Pub… Charlotte then hosts the New York Knicks on April 26 at Time Warner Cable Arena® in the team’s final game of the season… Opening tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Catch Wednesday’s game on SportSouth and Thursday’s contest on TNT. You can listen to us on WFNZ as well and don’t forget to join the chat at bobcats.com.

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