Keys to Beat Magic, Pistons

By Ketrell Marshall
February 18, 2013

Kemba Walker vs. Jameer Nelson

Kemba Walker is coming off a successful All-Star break in which he scored eight points and led Team Shaq with eight assists, while tying for the team lead in steals (two) and blocks (one) in the Rising Stars Challenge on February 15 in Houston…Walker has found success against the Orlando Magic’s defense this season. Through two contests he is averaging 28.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals. Walker’s offensive efficiency could be essential in securing a victory against the Magic…Walker’s defensive matchup will be Jameer Nelson, the eight-year veteran out of St. Josephs. Nelson is Orlando’s fourth leading scorer with 14.8 points to go with a team-high 7.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.24 steals…In Nelson’s last four outing heading into the All-Star break, he struggled from the field only shooting 32.3 percent. However, he was distributing the ball at an efficient rate with 9.0 assists…If walker can limit Nelson’s effectiveness on the offensive end it could be big for the Bobcats.

Byron Mullens vs. Greg Monroe

Five games prior to the All-Star break Byron Mullens was playing some of the best basketball of his career…Mullens was averaging 19.0 points, shooting 48.1 percent from the field, grabbing 8.6 rebounds and dishing out 1.8 assists…The Bobcats look forward to seeing Mullens continue his growth and development as a player. Mullens maintaining this level of play could be key for the Cats as his matchup against Pistons center Greg Monroe will not be easy… Monroe went into the break with eight straight double-doubles and averaging 19.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.00 steals in his last five contests…Monroe has been controlling the boards, as he recently tied a season-high with 18 rebounds, and has shot very well from the floor connecting on 53.5 percent of his field goal attempts in his last five outings…Mullens’ scoring and rebounding against Monroe could be a key ingredient in securing a victory against the Pistons.

With this being their first game back from the All-Star break, the Bobcats look to start off strong with a win against the Orlando Magic…The Cats have a split record against the Magic this season (1-1)…Charlotte looks to take advantage of their balance scoring attack with five players averaging double-figures, including Kemba Walker (17.2), Ramon Sessions (15.0), Gerald Henderson (12.8), Byron Mullens (12.8) and Ben Gordon (12.6)... Charlotte has scored at an elite rate against Orlando this season, averaging 102.0 points and connecting on 46.4 percent of their field goal attempts...The Bobcats continue to rank high in the league in fastbreak points with 16.6 (sixth) and blocks with 6.3 (sixth).

The Magic go into their contest against the Bobcats only winning one of their last 14 outings… Orlando distributes the ball at an elite rate averaging 23.3 assists, good enough for sixth in the league…Orlando showcases some talent when it comes to rebounding pulling down 42.8 rebounds earning them an 11th ranking in the NBA…The Magic also has five players averaging double-figures led by Aaron Afflalo (16.6), J.J. Redick (15.3), Glen Davis (15.1), Jameer Nelson (14.8) and Nikola Vucevic (12.4)… Afflalo has played impressive against the Cats this season averaging 21.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

SCOUTING THE PISTONS (21-33 as of 2/18)
The Detroit Pistons won four of their last eight outings heading into the All-Star break and had one game to play prior to challenging the Cats tonight in Charlotte… One of the focuses for the Pistons this season has been taking control in the paint area. Detroit showcase some impressive numbers down low, ranking fifth in the league in rebounds (43.8) and eighth in blocks (5.6)…The Pistons have knocked down shots from three-point range at a respectable rate this season, connecting on 36.5 percent of their attempts earning them a ninth place ranking in the NBA…The charity stripe has been a weakness for Detroit this year, where they connect on only 69.7 percent. This could be a key factor if the game ends up close in the final frame, where points from the charity stripe become critical.

Be sure to follow the Bobcats as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic on Tuesday before returning back to the Time Warner Cable Arena® to take on the Detroit Pistons at 7 pm on February 19. You can watch the Cats on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Also, join the conversation by following the live in-game chat at or downloading the Bobcats app on your smartphone.

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