By Matt Rochinski
April 19, 2012
Derrick Brown vs. Rudy Gay
Derrick Brown (7.8 points, 3.5 rebounds) has stepped into the starting small forward role admirably with Corey Maggette out for the remainder of the season with a strained right Achilles… Brown has averaged 14.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.60 steals his last five games and has shown a fearlessness to attack the rim while playing solid defense on the other end… Rudy Gay has cemented his status as a player who fills up the stat sheet and contributes all over the court, averaging 19.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 2011-12… He is coming off a 26-point performance in the Grizzlies 103-91 victory on Wednesday in Memphis and is in the midst of his best stretch of the season, having scored 24-or-more points in six of Memphis’ last eight games, while averaging 24.5 points and 6.7 boards… It’s a tough defensive assignment for Brown, but he’ll need to keep Gay in check in the Bobcats want to get the home win.
Gerald Henderson vs. Marcus Thornton
Gerald Henderson has been the team’s leading scorer with Corey Maggette down, averaging 17.5 points on 45.8 percent shooting and adding 3.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists the last seven times out… While Henderson’s offense continues to impress, it’s his lock-down defense the Cats might need against Sacramento… Marcus Thornton has been on a tear since missing four games with a thigh injury earlier this month, averaging 19.2 points while shooting 46.9 percent from the field and getting up 16.6 shots each contest… He left Wednesday’s game against the Spurs after taking a knee to the aforementioned thigh but was able to return and drop 20 points, so the Kings are hoping the injury won’t linger… If Thornton can go, the onus will be on Henderson to slow him down.
Bismack Biyombo vs. Kevin Seraphin
This could be a battle between two young big men trying to impress in the tail end of the season… Biyombo is playing more basketball than he’s ever imagined as a rookie and the youngest player in the NBA and has been up to the challenge… He’s averaging 5.2 points and 5.8 rebounds but has posted averages of 8.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in Charlotte’s last six contest… Biyombo isn’t afraid to challenge any veteran or youngster at the rim, and it’s that fearlessness the Cats have to like right now… It’s been a breakthrough month for second-year forward/center Kevin Seraphin, who has stepped into a starting roll for the Wizards with Nene and Trevor Booker both dealing with plantar fasciitis in their feet... Seraphin has averaged 16.0 points through 11 April contests and scored in double digits in 12 straight for Washington… He’s also been a force in the paint, hauling down 7.5 rebounds and blocking 1.91 shots.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES (37-25)
Memphis is currently battling the Los Angeles Clippers (39-23) for the fourth seed in the Western Conference and showed last season they have the tools to make a run in the postseason and they’re getting healthy at the right time… Aside from Gay, they have All-Star center Marc Gasol (14.6 points, 9.2 rebounds), who just returned from a bone bruise in his left knee, as well as point guard Mike Conley, who has averaged 18.0 points and 6.5 assists since missing two games with a sore right ankle… Memphis also has to like what they’ve seen from Zach Randolph, who missed two-and-half months with a knee injury, coming off the bench. He’s averaged 11.2 points and 10.3 rebounds and posted six double-doubles in the past nine games while helping lead the Grizzlies to a 7-2 record.
SCOUTING THE KINGS (20-42 as of 4/19)
Sacramento is near the bottom of the Western Conference, but that’s not to say they don’t have some young talent they’re building around… Thornton (18.7 points) leads a solid young backcourt consisting of former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans (16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists) and rookie Isaiah Thomas (11.6 points, 4.0 assists)… Second-year center DeMarcus Cousins has also put things together this season, averaging 17.6 points and 11.0 rebounds, ranking him fourth in the NBA on the glass… Sacramento is 2-8 through its first 10 games in April, but the Kings have pushed some of the West’s best in some tough contests.
SCOUTING THE WIZARDS (16-46 as of 4/19)
Despite leading only the Bobcats in the Eastern Conference standings, the Wizards are playing arguably their best ball of the season, picking up victories in four of their last six contests, including wins over Orlando and on the road in Chicago against the team with the league’s best record… The key for the Wizards has been getting their offense clicking – they’re averaging 103.5 points in their last four wins and 77.0 points in the two losses… Shooting guard Jordan Crawford (15.0 points, 3.0 assists) has picked up his game the past two months with the departure of Nick Young to the Clippers. Crawford has had 12 games of 20-or-more points in Washington’s last 19 contests and is coming of 32-point performance on Wednesday against Milwaukee.
The Bobcats tip off at 7 p.m. on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena® against the Grizzlies before a 6 p.m. home tip on Sunday against the Kings. Charlotte will then hit the road for Monday’s 7 p.m. slate in Washington. Catch all the action on SportSouth and listen to us on WFNZ. Also, don’t forget to join the chat at bobcats.com.
Sign up below to receive the latest email alerts from your Charlotte Bobcats, as well as upcoming events at Time Warner Cable Arena.
If you are a Bobcats fan, signing up is the only way to get the latest Bobcats news and offers delivered right to your email inbox.
* Required Field