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Keys to Beat Rockets, Mavs

By Mark Kern
March 14, 2012

Gerald Henderson vs. Kevin Martin

Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 15 points in their 73-71 victory over New Orleans on Monday night... Henderson is averaging 14.0 points and has shown that he can score in many different ways. He can score both attacking the rim, as well as hitting the jumpshot… He is also the team’s best on-ball defender. His strength and quickness allowed him to keep his man in front of him… In an 82-70 loss to the Rockets on January 10, Henderson was able to harass Kevin Martin into a 5-of-19 shooting night…. He will look for a similar performance against the Rockets, who will need Martin to score the ball more than usual because of Kyle Lowry’s injury… Martin leads the Rockets with 17.1 points. He is quick and much better when he is attacking the rim. He only shoots 34.7 percent from 3-point range, so Henderson will look to force him to shoot jumpshots instead of layups.

D.J. Augustin vs. Jason Kidd
Both players are important to their team’s success, but they go about at it at different ways… Augustin is averaging 11.9 points, 6.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds and is at his best when he is attacking and getting inside the paint. He is able to finish himself or find his open teammates for easy buckets… He is capable of hitting the 3-pointer but has not looked for that shot as much recently… His quickness is his biggest asset, and will be a tough matchup for Kidd, a future Hall–of-Famer and one of the best point guards to ever play the game… He is only averaging 5.6 points and 5.4 assists, but is still a very important player for the Mavericks assists. Kidd is very good at running the pick-and-pop with Dirk Nowitzki, creating a lot of open 3-pointers for Dirk… Kidd has a lost a step of his quickness, so Augustin will be able to attack Kidd off the dribble, and this should free things up for both him and his teammates.

The Bobcats are becoming a team that makes it hard for opposing teams to score at the basket. Charlotte ranks third in the league in blocked shots with 5.9 a game, including seven in the win over New Orleans. A lot of this is because of rookie Bismack Biyombo, who had four blocks on Monday, including the game-saving block on Trevor Ariza as he attempted the game-tying dunk… The Bobcats were able to pull ahead against the Hornets because Kemba Walker was able to attack the defense and get the Bobcats some easy baskets… The Bobcats struggled to shoot the three ball, as they were 0 of 12 from the 3-point line in the win against New Orleans… Both the Rockets and Mavericks are capable of scoring a lot of points, so it will be crucial for the Bobcats to score some points to keep up with these two teams.

Houston is going without their point guard Kyle Lowry, who will be out at least two weeks with a bacterial infection… He has been the catalyst for the Rockets, who are currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference… Besides Lowry and Martin, the only other Rocket to average double-figures is power forward Luis Scola. Scola is a tough power forward that is going to give you whatever he has. His biggest strength is his toughness, and he will not back down from anybody… The Rockets are 10th in the NBA, averaging 97.7 points on the season, so they can get out and score the ball… One weakness for the Rockets is that they do not have a dominating center. Besides Scola, their next real scoring threat down low is Samuel Dalembert, who only averages 8.1 points… Look for the Bobcats to attack down low as much as possible and look and try to take advantage of the Rockets frontcourt.

SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS (24-20 as of 3/14)
The defending champs do not have quite the record you would expect, but this team is still very dangerous. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks are a team full of veterans that know how to play the game… Dallas is 10th in the league in assists, averaging 21.4 a game. They move the ball very well and can beat you from many different spots on the floor…. Jason “Jet” Terry is a key of the bench, as he averages 14.6 points on the season, and is really the guy that sparks the Mavericks team. Terry is a big-time shooter from 3-point line, and when he is in a zone, the Mavericks become very tough to beat… They are not a team that looks really to get out and run the ball a whole lot, but they can… However, this team is very good in the half court are not going to beat themselves with careless passes. The Bobcats will look to get out and try and make this more of an up-tempo style of game, allowing their younger guys to take advantage of their youth.

The Bobcats tipoff at 8 p.m. Wednesday against the Rockets at the Toyota Center. They will be back in action at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday as they take on the Mavericks at the American Airline Center. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join us for the live chats on

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