By Caroline Sikes
February 5, 2013
KEY MATCHUP vs. CAVALIERS
Gerald Henderson vs. Dion Waiters
With the expected absence of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (concussion) against the Cavaliers, Co-Captain Gerald Henderson will be picking up a lot of minutes at both the two and three spots. Henderson has been a tremendous role player for the Bobcats this season, stepping up on the offensive end when necessary and buckling down as one of the Cats top defenders on the other end. On the season, Henderson is fourth in scoring with 12.5 points, adding 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.00 steal… Henderson’s defensive assignment will be Dion Waiters, the rookie out of Syracuse. In his first season in the NBA, Waiters has started 31 of the Cavs 40 games. He is one of their leading scorers with 14.2 points to go with 3.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.00 steal. Waiters only shoots 37.9 percent from the field, so it will be Henderson’s job to make sure Waiters doesn’t get many good looks at the basket and stays at or below his average.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (11-36)
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist likely to miss another game (concussion), Byron Mullens’ return to the court could not have come at a better time. In his first game back against the Heat, Mullens put up impressive numbers, finishing with 12 points (2-for-5 from long range), nine rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 28 minutes. Mullens will be a huge asset to the Bobcats, who have been struggling to find production in their frontcourt. On the season, Mullens leads the Cats in rebounding with 7.9 to go with 11.6 points. Another big man who has stepped up as of late is Jeff Adrien. After starting the last four games, Adrien is averaging 8.3 points and 6.5 rebounds. However, the Bobcats backcourt is still its offensive powerhouse with Kemba Walker (17.8 points), Ramon Sessions (15.0), Ben Gordon (13.3) and Gerald Henderson (12.5) leading the team in scoring… The Bobcats continue to rank high in the league in fastbreak points with 17.0 (third) and blocks with 6.4 (fourth).
SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS (14-34)
In their last eight games, the Cavs have gone 5-3, including an impressive 115-110 win on their home court over the Oklahoma City Thunder in their previous game… Kyrie Irving leads the way for the Cavaliers on the offensive end. Irving is sixth in the league, averaging 24.0 points, shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point territory… After losing Anderson Varejao for the season due to a blood clot, the Cavs have had to look elsewhere for substantial contributions in the frontcourt. This includes Tyler Zeller, the rookie out of North Carolina, who in the last 10 games has averaged 8.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 blocks. Another offensive force is Marreese Speights. Since being traded from the Grizzlies, Speights averages 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds off the bench. Along with Waiters, Irving and Speights, C.J. Miles (11.3 points), Tristan Thompson (11.1) and Alonzo Gee (10.4) all average double-digits.
The Bobcats end a five-game road trip in Cleveland when they tip off against the Cavaliers at 7:00 pm on February 6. You can watch the Cats on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Also, join the conversation by following the live in-game chat at bobcats.com or downloading the Bobcats app on your smartphone.