By Wesley Robinson, bobcats.com
December 5, 2013
December 5, 2013
KEY MATCHUP vs. 76ers: Al Jefferson vs. Spencer Hawes
In the last three games, Al Jefferson has played some of his best basketball this season, averaging 19.3 points and 12.3 rebounds. Jefferson has recorded double-doubles in all three contests after tallying 19 points and 12 boards on Tuesday against Dallas. Jefferson became the first Bobcats player with three-straight double-doubles since Gerald Wallace did so on Feb. 4-7, 2011. He has also scored in double figures in six-straight games, averaging 17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks during the stretch… Charlotte will need Jefferson to continue make his presence known in the paint, matching up against a player who shares some similar capabilities. Spencer Hawes has recorded nine double-doubles this season and is also averaging a double-double, 16.2 points and 10.0 rebounds. Hawes has also scored 20+ points four times this season and 10 times over his last 71 games played as a Sixer after not doing so in his first 146 games with Philadelphia. With Hawes’s ability to dominate the paint, this will be a matchup to keep your eye on as the Cats seek their ninth win.
KEY MATCHUP vs. WARRIORS: Kemba Walker vs. Stephen Curry
With two talented point guards squaring off, its logical to say Kemba Walker and Stephen Curry will be the matchup to watch when the Golden State Warriors come to town. Offensively, Walker has continued to be effective, leading the team in points (16.6), assists (4.2) and steals (1.5). With 16 points against Dallas on Tuesday, Walker has scored in double figures in 16 of 19 games this season, including seven games with 20 points or more. Dating back to last season, Walker has scored in double figures in 39 of his last 43 games, including 17 games with 20 or more points, and is averaging 17.7 points, 5.3 assists and 1.9 steals during that span. Walker has been a strong contributor to the Cats second-ranked defense, averaging 1.5 steals, and is ranked 24th in the NBA. He also has recorded 31 games with three or more steals since the start of the 2012-13 season, which is tied for third in the NBA behind only Chris Paul’s 35 and Ricky Rubio’s 35… Stephen Curry ranks ninth in scoring (22.6 points) on 46 percent shooting form the field to go with 8.8 assists. Curry finished with 27 points and 10 assists on Dec. 3 vs. Toronto following a 36-point, 10-assist effort on Dec. 1 at Sacramento giving him consecutive games with 25 points and 10 assists for the first time in his career. With five steals on Dec. 3 vs. Toronto, Curry also joined John Wall and Chris Paul as the only players in the NBA with a 25-point, 10-assist, five-steal game this season. He has also posted three consecutive 20/10 games (two point/assist, one point/rebound) averaging 31.7 points, 8.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds while shooting .538 from the field, .480 from 3-point range over that stretch. We all know its doesn’t take much for Curry to get hot from long range as he also ranks second in three-pointers made. If Walker could limit some of those opportunities from beyond the arc with potent defensive efforts, the Bobcats will have a good chance to earn a win.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (7-9)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is expected to be out four to six weeks after suffering a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the third quarter of last night’s game in Dallas. Kidd-Gilchrist, who was examined on-site last night, had additional X-rays taken this morning in Charlotte that confirmed the original diagnosis. With Kidd-Gilchrist out, Jeffery Taylor will make his second start of the season on Friday… Defensively, Charlotte has been doing a great job managing to stay sturdy. The Bobcats have made tremendous strides defensively, giving up only 91.7 points per game, which is now the second-lowest average in the NBA. Last season, the team allowed 102.7 points per contest, ranking 29th in the league. In addition, the Bobcats are giving up the fewest points in the paint (33.7) and second-fewest fast break points in the league (9.8). The Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 16 of their 19 games this season – tied for the most such games in the NBA. Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson have accumulated 60 percent of the Bobcats scoring, combining for 163 points in their last three games. With 19 points on Tuesday against Dallas, Henderson has reached double figures for the 10th consecutive game and 17th time this season. During the stretch, Henderson is averaging 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting .427 from the field (56-for-131) and .816 from the free-throw line (40-for-49). Those numbers are up from the first three games of the season, when he averaged 9.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting .278 from the field (10-36) and .727 from the free-throw line (8-11).
SCOUTING THE 76ERS (7-12)
The Sixers have scored 100+ points in each of the past three games after doing so once the six games prior...Philly is averaging 104.2 points this season after finishing last in the league in scoring for the first time in franchise history last season with 93.2 points... The Sixers have scored 110+ points five times this season after doing so once in 2012-13... Philly is 0-1 when scoring below 90 points (6-26 in 2012-13)… The Sixers have outscored the opposition in points in the paint in each of the past two games after being outscored in each of the three games prior... Philly also is outscoring opponents by an average of 7.4 points in the paint this season (49.9 to 42.5)... the Sixers ranked ninth in the NBA in fewest points in the paint allowed last season (40.2 per) but 23rd in paint scoring (38.9 per)… Prior to the game vs. Orlando on Dec. 3, Michael Carter-Williams was named Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November. He became the first Sixer to win the award since Allen Iverson in April of 1997. Carter-Williams celebrated his award by recording his first career triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a double-overtime win against the Magic. The last Sixer rookie to record a triple-double was Andre Iguodala vs. Detroit on 3/23/05. Orlando rookie Victor Oladipo also notched a triple-double that night. It marked the first time in NBA history that two rookies (teammates or opposing) tallied triple-doubles in the same game.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS (11-8 as of 12/5)
Trailing by as many as 27 points to the Toronto Raptors on December 3 at Oracle Arena, Golden State charged back in the second half, overcoming an 18-point fourth quarter deficit en route to a 112-103 win over Toronto... It was the largest comeback by the Warriors over the last 10 years and the largest in the NBA this season with Golden State’s 18-point comeback after three quarters being their second largest in franchise history (largest in the West Coast Era) with it last happening on February 9, 1962 at Boston when the Philadelphia Warriors came back form a 19-point Celtic lead en route to a 126-124 win that day. The Warriors’ nine-point victory was the largest in regulation in NBA history for a team that trailed by at least 18 points entering the fourth quarter with the previous such record being an eight-point win (109-101) for the Hawks over the Nets on April 15, 1997... The Warriors also outscored the Raptors 42-15 in the fourth quarter, the first time they’ve outscored an opponent by 27-or-more points in the final frame since November 2, 1991 vs. Sacramento (30)… The Warriors have held their opponents to under 40 percent shooting in eight games this season, good for second in the NBA, behind only Indiana… Golden State has finished .500 or better on six of its last eight road trips of three-or-more games… Golden State has six players on the NBA All-Star ballot (Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Klay Thompson), which is tops in the Western Conference and tied with the Indiana Pacers for most in the league.
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