Preview: Keys to Beat 76ers
Preview: Keys to Beat 76ers

By Jace Darling, bobcats.com

April 2, 2014

KEY MATCHUP vs. 76ERS: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist vs. Thaddeus Young

In the last meeting between these two teams on Jan. 15, Thaddeus Young only hit one three-pointer, but it made all the difference as it won the game for the Sixers. With 15.4 seconds left, Michael Carter-Williams drew Kemba Walker and Josh McRoberts into the lane and found Young on the wing, where he converted the 25-foot three-pointer, ultimately giving the Sixers the 95-92 win… The last matchup against the Sixers was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s second game back from a non-displaced fracture in his left hand that kept him out of 19 games. The rust showed as he played just 16 minutes, scoring just one point, adding three assists and two steals. Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds this season, but in his second-year he has etched out his role as the self-proclaimed “middle-linebacker” of the Bobcats defense and will be called upon to slow Philadelphia’s leading scorer… Young is having a career year as the only remaining veteran from last year’s squad, averaging 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals. He has been even better since the trade deadline passed. Since that point, Young is averaging 20.9 points (398 total), 5.8 rebounds (110 total), 3.5 assists (66 total) and 2.53 steals (48 total). With 23 points on Mar. 31 vs. Atlanta, Young has scored 20+ points in eight of his last 10 games and a total of 27 times this season. He only eclipsed the 20-point mark 12 times in the 2012-13 season.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS

Charlotte is coming off a thrilling 100-94 comeback victory over the Washington Wizards on Mar. 31. Kemba Walker (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Al Jefferson (19 points, 11 rebounds) each turned in double-doubles for the third time this season, while Cody Zeller had his best performance of his rookie season finishing with a career-high 15 points… The Bobcats scored 100 points on Monday against the Wizards, eclipsing the 100-point plateau for the fourth time in their last five games. The Bobcats scored a season-high 124 points on March 22 against Portland, recording the fifth-best single-game total in franchise history. Their 30-point win was the largest of the season and the fourth-largest in franchise history… Al Jefferson was awarded Eastern Conference Player of the Month for March on Apr.1. Jefferson saw action in all 16 games in the month, averaging 24.7 points on .555 shooting (178-321), 10.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 37.2 minutes played. He ranked third in the Eastern Conference in scoring, fourth in rebounding and sixth in minutes played. He tallied a conference-best six games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, helping him break the franchise single-season record, while his nine double-doubles were tied for third in the conference. Jefferson scored in double figures in all 16 games, including 12 games with 20 points or more and three 30-point contests… Charlotte’s defensive scheme has kept them in almost every game this year and has been key to their success. The Cats are giving up only 97.5 points per games, which is the sixth-lowest 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 fast break points (10.1) and the fourth-fewest points in the paint (38.6). They have held their opponent under 100 points in 47 of their 74 games this season, which is the fourth-most such games in the NBA.

SCOUTING THE 76ERS

The 76ers have dropped 27 of their last 28 games, which included an NBA record-tying 26-game losing streak. Philly ended its 26-game losing streak with a win vs. Detroit on Mar. 29, exactly two months time since the Sixers last win at Boston on Jan. 29. The 26-game streak was tied for the longest in NBA history (Cleveland from 12/20/10-2/9/11). Philly led by as many as 32 points in the “streak-breaker” vs. Detroit and won by 25. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Sixers 25-point win was the largest in NBA history by a team that entered that game with a losing streak of 15+ games (there were 62 losing streaks of 15+ games in league history at that point, including Philly’s)… The Sixers rely heavily on the three-point shot and have attempted 20+ 3-pointers 56 times this season after accomplishing that feat just 26 times last season. Philadelphia have attempted 30+ three-pointers eight times this season after doing it a total of seven times prior in franchise history…Michael Carter-Williams, considered by many to be the front-runner for the Rookie of the Year award, turned in quite a statistical performance in the month of March. In 16 games played this past month, Carter-Williams averaged 14.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists, becoming the first rookie to average at least 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a single month since Grant Hill in January of 1995 (23.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 6.3 apg)… Philadelphia is also missing a few pieces since they last faced Charlotte. The team traded away rotation fixtures Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and LaVoy Allen at the trade deadline on Feb. 20.

TUNE IN

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