By Jace Darling, bobcats.com
December 2, 2013
December 2, 2013
KEY MATCHUP vs. MAVERICKS: Josh McRoberts/Cody Zeller vs Dirk Nowitzki
As the 2013-2014 season has progressed, Head Coach Steve Clifford has been using Josh McRoberts and Cody Zeller at the four. While McRoberts has been the starter, Zeller has also averaged 18.5 minutes per game. With the Cats travelling to Dallas to face the Mavericks at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena, both players will need to have strong outings against 15-year veteran, Dirk Nowitzki. So far this season the PF tandem of the Bobcats has averaged 13.3 points (McRoberts, 8.4; Zeller, 4.9), while Nowitzki has averaged 20.6 points… Given the new offensive philosophy of the Bobcats, both McRoberts and Zeller spend a lot of time on the perimeter and the same can be said for Nowitzki. At 7-0, Nowitzki has always been one of the best outside shooting big men in the NBA over the course of his career. He currently ranks 17th on the all-time scoring list… Both McRoberts’ and Zeller’s size should make for a great matchup with Nowitzki and could be key to the Cats getting a win.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (8-10)
After a one-point loss to the Heat Sunday, the Cats continue their road trip with a game in Texas. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still suffering from plantar fasciitis but listed as probable, look for Jeffery Taylor to get his third consecutive start for the Cats… Gerald Henderson is quietly having a solid year, averaging 14.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. Henderson has scored in double figures in eight consecutive games and 15 times this season… Perhaps the most encouraging news is the sustained return of Al Jefferson from his ankle injury that kept him out for 10 games this season. With 16 points and 13 rebounds, Jefferson becomes the first Bobcats player to have two straight double-doubles this year and the third since 2011-12 season. Jefferson is also coming off a season-high 23 points and 12 rebounds in Friday’s win over Milwaukee. He has scored in double figures in five-straight games. During the five-game stretch, he is averaging 17.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks, while shooting .513 from the field (39-for-76).
SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS (10-8)
The Mavericks attempted to get younger last season and began to try and put pieces together for the future. But as it stands for the 2013-2014 season, they are again leaning heavily on the trio of veterans with a combined 44 years of experience. (Vince Carter, 15 years; Shawn Marion, 14; Dirk Nowitzki, 15)… As his career has progressed and he has moved around the league, Carter has become the sixth man for the Mavericks, averaging 10.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds in 24.4 minutes… Shawn Marion has been playing well this season, averaging 11.8 points to go with 7.3 rebounds in 32.5 minutes… The Mavs have been impressive at home this season putting up a mark of 8-2; however, in games on the road the team has not fared so well, going 2-6. The Mavs have lost four of their last five games overall and are 1-2 at home since starting 7-0… As the season began, depth was supposed to be a strength of this team, but with Devin Harris and Brandan Wright on the shelf for another week or so and Jose Calderon’s availability is in question, so the Mavericks are thin. Calderon could return for Tuesday’s game but if not, Monta Ellis will see increased minutes against the Cats.
Watch the game on SportSouth and join us on the live chat on bobcats.com. The game can be heard locally on WFNZ 610am, bobcats.com and on the Bobcats app.