By Mark Kern
March 1, 2012
D.J. Augustin vs. Tony Parker
D.J. Augustin is coming off a strong game in which he had 10 assists to go with eight points in Wednesday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons. Augustin was able to get by his defender and create easy scoring opportunities for his teammates – something he’s done well since returning from a toe injury on February 15. In his five games back, he’s averaged 10.4 points while dishing out 5.8 assists and bringing down 2.6 rebounds… The Spurs are not quite the same defensive team they have been in year’s past, but they are still tough to score on in the halfcourt. D.J. will need to be in control of the offense and create those easy scoring opportunities Charlotte to have a chance. He will have his hands full going up against Tony Parker, who is playing as well as he has in his career… On the season, Parker is averaging 19.1 points and a career-high 8.1 assists… The Spurs, who used to be lead by Tim Duncan, are now Tony Parker’s team… In this matchup, Augustin will need to try and force Parker to play hard on the defensive end. Both are short, but extremely quick point guards, and the one who is able to control the game will go a long way in determining the outcome of the game.
Gerald Henderson vs. MarShon Brooks
Gerald Henderson was back in action in Detroit on Wednesday for the first time since February 1 in Portland and finished with 13 points and three rebounds against the Pistons. For a guy that had been out the entire month of February, he appeared to shake of the rust quickly… Henderson gives the Bobcats another dimension on the offensive end. Together with Corey Maggette in the starting lineup, the Bobcats have perimeter players that attack the basket and get to the free-throw line…. On defense, Henderson is a strong guard that can make things tough for the guy he is guarding… He will be matched up against the rookie MarShon Brooks, who has been a surprise for the Nets… Brooks is averaging 14.3 points, and in a 97-87 win over the Bobcats on January 22, Brooks scored 20 points and had six rebounds… Brooks is a streaky scorer, but is capable of having a big night any time he takes the court… Look for Henderson to play physical on both ends of the ball against Brooks. Henderson has 20 pounds on him and may even try to post him up on offense.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (4-29)
The Bobcats are a team that relies on their backcourt to do the majority of their scoring, as their top five scorers are all perimeter players, led by Gerald Henderson’s 14.9 points… Since they are a team that relies so much on backcourt scoring, the Bobcats like to get out on the fast break and up the tempo a bit… With slashers like Henderson and Corey Maggette, as well as shooters like Kemba Walker and Reggie Williams, they have the pieces to be able to have big nights on the perimeter. Add in the playmaking ability of Augustin at the point, and you can understand why they want to push the pace… However, it is how the perimeter plays on the defensive end that will make the difference in this weekend’s games… With Bismack Biyombo day-to-day with a shoulder injury, and the fact that the Bobcats are matched up against future Hall-of-Famer Tim Duncan of the Spurs and Brook Lopez of the Nets, the perimeter players must help out on the glass for the Bobcats to have a chance at winning these games.
SCOUTING THE SPURS (24-11)
Every year it is the same thing with the Spurs. They are getting too old to contend, and every year they prove the critics wrong. This year is no different as the Spurs are currently the number two seed in the Western Conference…. Head Coach Gregg Popovich has done a great job of blending the veterans, (Ginobili, Parker and Duncan) to mesh with young guys like Gary Neal and Dejaun Blair… The Spurs are not going to wow you with 110-point games, but they are very efficient on the offensive end. Entering Friday night’s game, the Spurs are fifth in the league shooting the ball from the field at 45.8 percent.
SCOUTING THE NETS (11-25 as of 3/1)
After having to play almost the entire first half of the season without center Brook Lopez, the Nets were happy to have him back in their 93-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. In that game, Lopez scored 38 points, including two free throws with 42 seconds left to secure the victory for the Nets… With Lopez and point guard Deron Williams playing together; they form one of the best inside-outside duos in the NBA… Sprinkle in young talent like Anthony Morrow, Kris Humphries and the aforementioned Brooks, and the Nets are on to something.
The Bobcats tipoff at 8:30 p.m. on Friday against the Spurs at the AT&T center. They will be back in action, 7 p.m. on Sunday as they host the Nets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Catch all the action on SportSouth, listen to us on WFNZ and join us for the live chat on bobcats.com.
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