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Keys to Defeat Raptors, Pacers

By Mark Kern
February 16, 2012

Reggie Williams vs. DeMar Derozan

Eight games into his first season in Charlotte, Reggie Williams has been a nice addition to the Bobcats. He is averaging 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.45 assists, and when he is on the court, he gives the Bobcats another threat from the 3-point line… He also rebounded very well against the Timberwolves, posting seven boards…. Derozan is a different type of player than Reggie Williams. While Williams likes to stay more on the perimeter, Derozan likes to get to the rim. On the season, Derozan is averaging 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists… When Derozan initially gets the ball will be a key in the game. Williams will need to look to put pressure on Derozan as he is not the best ball-handler. However, if he is able to get in the lane, it will create problems, as Derozan is one of the most athletic players in the NBA.

Corey Maggette vs. Danny Granger
Corey Maggette is finally healthy after battling a hamstring injury, averaging 14.0 points in four games since returning, and gives the Bobcats a true starting small forward… Maggette is a proven scorer that also uses his strength well on the defensive end. Maggette will be counted on more on the defensive end as he goes up with Danny Granger… Granger has struggled early this season with his shooting, but appears to be hitting his stride. Against the Nets on Thursday night, Granger scored 32 points and carried the Pacers to a 93-88 victory…. When Granger is on, he is one of the better scorers in the NBA and can score in many different ways. Look for Maggette to try and make Granger work on the defensive end and be very physical with him when the Bobcats are on defense.

The Bobcats are getting closer to finally having a full roster. Coach Silas for sometime has said once he gets his full roster, he thinks the team is going to start playing some good basketball… On Wednesday night against the Timberwolves, the Bobcats got D.J. Augustin back and he put up nine points. With Augustin coming off the bench, the Bobcats were in the game until a Minnesota shooting barrage late in the third quarter helped them pull away… The Bobcats are getting great scoring from their backcourt, and a lot of that has to do with the return of Corey Maggette from a hamstring injury. Maggette is averaging 14.0 points in his four games back and has provided the Bobcats with veteran leadership on the court..

The Raptors have been a team that struggles to put the ball in the hoop. Going into Friday night’s game, Toronto ranks 27th in the NBA in scoring, averaging just 88.4 points… However, they do have some talented players capable of having monster nights. Besides Derozan, they have the former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani, who is having a career season with 23.5 points and 6.30 rebounds per game, but he hasn’t played since January 25 due to a calf injury…. With Jose Calderon running the point, the Raptors are another team that will look to get points on the fastbreak as they struggle to score the ball in the halfcourt game… If the Bobcats can limit Toronto’s fastbreak points, they have a great chance to leave with the victory.

SCOUTING THE PACERS (18-12 as of 2/17)
After playing the Chicago Bulls close last year in the first round of the playoffs, the Pacers have built off that success early in the season. The Pacers are a well-balanced team that gets great contributions from both their starters and their bench… All five of their starters average more than 11.3 points per game, while Tyler Hansbrough, comes off the bench to average 9.0 points… The Pacers compare to the 76ers, due to the fact they are hard to guard because you don’t know who is going to score points for them… The Bobcats will try and push the ball against the Pacers, who are more of a deliberate, half-court style of basketball squad.

The Bobcats tipoff at 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse against the Pacers. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join us for the live chat on

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