Keys to Beat Knicks, Hawks
Preview: Keys to Beat Knicks, Hawks

By Wesley Robinson, bobcats.com

November 7, 2013

Chat Live vs Knicks

KEY MATCHUP vs. KNICKS: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs Carmelo Anthony

As the Cats prepare for their second of two matchups this week against the New York Knicks, all eyes will be on the matchup between Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Carmelo Anthony… MKG is beginning to find his rhythm in Head Coach Steve Clifford’s offense. The four-out, one-in style of play being instituted by the Cats this season has allowed MKG to play to his strengths, playing some with his back to the basket and attacking the rim off the dribble. MKG is averaging 11.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals on 56.8 percent shooting… Carmelo Anthony has started this season on par with his career averages. Through four games Anthony is averaging 23.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.25 steals while shooting only 37.1 percent, while playing 42.0 minutes, whereas MKG is averaging 27.8 minutes.

KEY MATCHUP vs. HAWKS: Bismack Biyombo vs. Al Horford

With Al Jefferson still out with an ankle injury, Bismack Biyombo has continued to grow this season, giving the Bobcats strong energy on the boards (7.6), but on the defensive end is where he has made his mark on the floor. Biyombo leads his 2011 NBA Draft class in both total blocks (262) and blocks per game (1.8) since entering the league. Despite playing just two seasons, Biyombo already ranks third in franchise history in career blocks behind Emeka Okafor (621) and Gerald Wallace (531). He also tallied his first double-double of the season on Nov. 1 against Cleveland, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds… With athleticism and length, Biyombo has the ability to control the paint defensively, which will be needed against Hawks Center Al Horford, who has been more than just solid at the center position through his first four games, averaging a double-double (18.3 points, 11.8 rebounds). Last season Al Horford averaged a career-high 17.4 points, career-best 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals in 37.2 minutes. He finished eighth in the NBA in rebounds per game, 10th in field goal percentage, tied for 25th in points per game and 30th in blocks... Additionally, his 43 double-doubles (20 20-point/10-rebound games) ranked sixth in the league. With Horford’s ability to dominate the paint, whichever big man can control the paint could determine the outcome of which team wins the game.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (3-2)

In the last two games, the Bobcats have came out blistering, averaging 31.5 points in the first quarter on 67.5 percent shooting and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc… With Al Jefferson still absent from the lineup (right ankle sprain), the Cats have found other ways to gain an advantage over their opponents. By establishing momentum early in the game and jumping out to sturdy leads, the Cats are able to utilize most of their efforts on the defensive end… A constant for the Bobcats in those last two games has been Gerald Henderson, who is coming off a season-high 23 points against the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 6 and is averaging 20.5 points. Dating back to last season, Henderson is averaging 21.8 points on .450 shooting (168-for-373) and .847 free-throw shooting (133-for-157), to go with 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists, over his last 25 games… Also, the Bobcats are 4-0 in their last four home games dating back to last season. During the four-game span, the Bobcats have topped the 100-point mark twice and are averaging 99.0 points while allowing only 90.5 points to their opponents. The best defense is a great offense.

SCOUTING THE KNICKS (1-3)

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 32 points on 35 percent shooting (10-for-28) in 44 minutes of play in Tuesday’s loss to the Cats. He added five boards, two assists and two steals. Anthony also led the Knicks with 27.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over two games against Charlotte last season… So far this season the Knicks are shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 81.1 percent from the stripe while being ranked third in opponent’s points per game… Four Knicks players are averaging double digits in points (Anthony, 23.8; Raymond Felton, 13.3; Iman Shumpert, 12.3; and Metta World Peace, 11.8)… Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. has been averaging 7.3 points in 26.8 minutes

SCOUTING THE HAWKS (2-2 as of 11/7)

The Hawks head to Charlotte after taking on Orlando on Nov. 9 in Atlanta… Paul Millsap leads the Hawks offense, which is ranked seventh in the NBA in scoring (104.8 points), with 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds… The Hawks are also fourth in the NBA with 25.8 assists per game and eighth in field goal percentage at .469... Atlanta has at least 24 assists in each game this season... Jeff Teague is tied for third in the NBA in assists (8.8), while Dennis Schröder is tied for 35th overall (4.3) and third among all rookies.

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