GameDay Preview: Cavs at Bobcats
The Cleveland Cavaliers (24-57) will wrap up their 2012-13 regular season tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats (20-61) at Time Warner Cable Arena. Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. ET.
In two contests against the Bobcats this season, Cleveland is averaging 114.0 points on .535 (91-170) shooting from the field, including .400 (16-40) from beyond the arc, 28.0 assists and just 9.5 turnovers.
In their only meeting in Charlotte on Jan. 4, Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including nailing a 12-foot jumper with 1.0 second remaining to seal a 106-104 victory for the Cavs.
Charlotte goes for a season high-tying third straight victory tonight after defeating the New York Knicks 106-95 on Monday night.
In the win, Bobcats starting shooting guard, Gerald Henderson, scored 27 points on 11-16 shooting, handed out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and blocked one shot in 39 minutes.
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Wayne Ellington, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller
Bobcats: PG - Kemba Walker, SG - Gerald Henderson, SF - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF - Josh McRoberts, C - Bismack Biyombo
Injuries: (Cavs) - C.J. Miles, (Forehead Laceration/Concussion, Out), Luke Walton, (Sore Right Ankle, Out), Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Bobcats) - DeSagana Diop (Right Knee Soreness, Out), Brendan Haywood (Stress Reaction, Left Foot, Out), Byron Mullens (Left Ankle Soreness, Game-Time Decision), Ramon Sessions (MCL Sprain, Left Knee, Out)
*Subject to change
Cleveland is 22-8 all-time against the Bobcats, which includes a 14-1 mark at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs have also won the last six meetings with Charlotte.
In the last game with the Bobcats on Feb. 6 at The Q, the Wine and Gold defeated the Bobcats by 27 points (122-95), which is their largest margin of victory this season. In that win, the Cavs set season-highs in points (122), field goal percentage (.565) and assists (33), while totaling just six turnovers and holding a 50-30 edge in points in the paint.
STATS Fun Fact
In the aforementioned blowout win against the Bobcats in early February, the Wine and Gold used excellent ball movement to produce their season-high 122 points. In fact, the Cavaliers had 54 more touches (437-383) than the Bobcats on offense.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the Game
Crashing the Glass
With Charlotte having injuries to a number of frontcourt players, the Wine and Gold should look to take advantage in the paint and on the glass.
The Cavs lead the Eastern Conference in second chance points per game (15.0, 2nd overall) and rank 5th in offensive rebounds per game (12.3, 7th overall).
If Cleveland can crash the boards and continue to produce second chance opportunities, then they will increase their chances of coming away with a victory to close out the season.
Cavs guards vs. Kemba Walker
If there is one player on the Bobcats that can single-handedly beat you and take over a game, it's Kemba Walker. The Cavaliers guards' matchup against the second-year guard will be the key matchup tonight.
Kemba Walker leads the Bobcats in scoring (17.7), assists (5.7) and steals (2.0), while also averaging 3.4 rebounds in 34.8 minutes. Walker, along with Kyrie Irving, is one of five players in the NBA who leads their team in scoring, assists and steals.
Against the Bobcats this season, Irving is averaging 27.5 points on .545 (18-33) shooting from the field, including a .889 (8-9) from the three-point line and a perfect 1.000 (11-11) from the foul line, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in 33.0 minutes per game. Irving (22.4 points, 5.9 assists, .853 FT%) is on pace to join Lenny Wilkens (20.5 points, 8.4 assists, .828 FT% in 1972-73) as the only Cavs players to average at least 20.0 points and 5.0 assists, while shooting .800 or better from the foul line in a single season.
Dion Waiters has given the Cavaliers a spark off the bench since returning from a knee injury. On Monday against the Heat, the Cavs rookie guard tallied 16 points, three rebounds and four assists in just over 26 minutes.
The last time Waiters faced the Bobcats, he recorded 19 points and dished out five assists in 24 minutes.
He leads all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring at 14.6 points per game and is averaging 16.1 points since the All-Star break.
Where to Catch the Action
Cavs at Bobcats - Wednesday, April 17th
Cavaliers Live Pregame Show begins at 7:30 p.m. | Tipoff at 8:00 p.m.
• Cleveland, Youngstown/Erie, and Wheeling/Steubenville areas:
- Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
- DirecTV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio
• Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus/Lima, Toledo areas:
- The game is being made available to providers to air on an additional alternate channel *Channel information is listed below by provider
- DirecTV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio
*Alt Channel Numbers for Cavs (by affiliate):
Affiliate/Channel Number for FSO Cavs Alt
Arthur Telephone - 40
Bascom - 143
Benton Ridge - 117
Buckland - 59
Com Net - 46
McClure - 88
Middlepoint Telephone - 80
Ridgeville - 61
Sycamore - 90
Wabash - 153
Watch TV - 41
Buckeye - 69
Cincinnati Bell - 205
WOW - 344
TWC - 334
New Knoxville - 82
Horizon Chillicothe - 44 / 544
TSC Communications - 281 / 781
Nelsonville - 63