Preview: Keys to Beat Mavericks, Nets
Preview: Keys to Beat Mavericks, Nets

By Jace Darling, bobcats.com

February 10, 2014

KEY MATCHUP vs. MAVERICKS: Gerald Henderson vs Monta Ellis

Gerald Henderson is one of only eight guards in the NBA that has started all their team’s games this year and is averaging 33.2 minutes while posting 15.3 points on 42.2 percent (286-for-678) shooting from the field and 30.2 percent (19-63) from long range and has also chipped in 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Henderson scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games from Nov. 16-Dec. 23, recording the second-longest streak of his career behind only a 26-game streak that included the final 24 games of last season and the first two contests of this season. In 51 games this season, Henderson has scored in double-figures 45 times and recorded 20 points or more 10 times during the first half of the season… After being signed in the offseason, 10-year veteran Monta Ellis made his presence felt with his new team immediately. Ellis scored at least 18 points in each of his first 15 games with Dallas (vs. Atlanta on Oct. 13 through the Nov. 25 game against Denver on Nov. 25) – the longest such streak by any player to begin his tenure with the Mavericks. Ellis is averaging 19.3 points this season, but scoring isn’t the only thing he is doing well. Ellis also leads the team in assists (5.7), steals (1.8) and minutes (36.3) while shooting an efficient 46.1 percent (370-for-803) from the field this year. The last time out both players had games consistent with their averages. Henderson scored 16-points on 7-15 shooting (47.7percent) and added seven boards and five assists while his counterpart Ellis dropped in 22-points, five rebounds, and five assists, as well.

KEY MATCHUP vs. NETS: Kemba Walker vs Deron Williams

In the first matchup between these two teams this season on Nov. 20 at Time Warner Cable Arena, Kemba Walker had his best night of the young season. Walker went for 31-points on 12-for-20 shooting (60.0 percent) and 4-for-7 from long range (57.1 percent) and hit 75.0 percent (3-for-4) from the charity stripe in 35:10 minutes. That game was the first of four 30+point games this season for Walker (31 vs Brooklyn; 31 vs Golden State; 34 @ Detroit; 30 @ Sacramento)… Deron Williams played sparingly in that game, due to an ankle injury, only logging 13:20 minutes to go with four points, one rebound and two assists. On the season, Williams is averaging 13.3 points while shooting 46.1 percent (158-for-343) from the field and 40.5 percent (47-for-116) from beyond-the-arc while dishing out 6.7 assists and grabbing 2.5 rebounds… In the first half of the season, Walker has been playing extremely well. Aside from missing the first seven games of his career (Jan. 20 – Feb. 1) with a left-ankle sprain, Walker has started in all of the other 44 Bobcats games and is averaging 18.4 points, 5.2 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 35.7 minutes. If his first half numbers continue, Walker is on pace for a career year in all categories… Not unlike Walker, Williams too has had issues with a sprained left ankle. Williams has missed 16 games this season as a result with the most recent stint out of the line up being Jan. 6–16. With Williams on the floor Brooklyn is 12-15 this season while the Cats have gone 18-26 when Walker has been active.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS

The Cats will play host to the Dallas Mavericks for the second and final meeting of the season. The last time the two teams faced one another, the Mavs earned a seven-point victory, 89-82, on Dec. 3 in Dallas… The Bobcats have played a league-high 24 games this season decided by six points or less and are 12-12 in those games, which is good for the most wins in the NBA for games that are that close… Entering Tuesday’s action, the Bobcats are giving up only 97.1 points per game, which is the fifth-lowest average in the NBA. In addition, the Bobcats are giving up the fewest fast break points (10.1) and the third-fewest points in the paint (37.3) and have held their opponent under 100 points in 32 of their 51 games this season, which is the third-most such games in the NBA… Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford has won 22 of his first 50 games, which trails only Paul Silas (23) for the most victories by a Bobcats head coach over his first 50 games… The team’s 22 victories have already surpassed last season’s total of 21 wins. The Bobcats join the Portland Trail Blazers (35) and Phoenix Suns (30) as the only three teams in the NBA that have already eclipsed their win total from last season. The Bobcats also have 11 road victories so far this season, topping their total of six road wins from last season… The Bobcats are averaging 24.9 free throw attempts and have attempted more free throws than their opponent in 34 of their 51 contests this season. They have attempted more free throws than their opponent in 20 of their 22 victories this season and are 20-14 when doing so.

SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS

The Mavericks are 17-1 all-time against the Bobcats (10-0 at home) with the Bobcats’ only win being a 101-97 overtime decision on Nov. 10, 2012 in Charlotte. It was also the only time the Bobcats have scored 100-plus points against the Mavericks… With their win over Utah on Feb. 7, the Mavericks have now won seven of their last nine games at home and have improved to 18-8 at home this season. They are 13-13 on the road… Dallas went 10-for-18 (.556) from beyond the arc vs. Utah on Feb. 7, improving to 14-6 this season when they hit at least 10 three-pointers in a game… The Mavericks are 19-4 this season when they hold their opponent to under 100 points… In the all-time series, the Bobcats average 90.2 points while Dallas averages 100.2 points.

SCOUTING THE NETS

Under first-year Head Coach Jason Kidd the season started poorly for the new-look Nets, as they went 10-19 in the first two months of the season. They have bounced back nicely as of late as they continue to chase .500 and currently sit at 23-26… In addition to Kidd, the Nets added veteran presence in a trade with Boston to get Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and added three free agents (Alan Anderson, Andrei Kirilenko and Shaun Livingston), as well as drafted Mason Plumlee. As the new year began, so did the cohesion of the team. January saw Brooklyn go 10-1 to start the month for the second consecutive year (finished January 10-3) and Kidd was named Coach of the Month… For the month of February Brooklyn currently sits at 3-2… While battling injury and trying to find the winning formula, Brooklyn has used 19 different starting lineups this season, compared to 12 used all of last season. Through 49 games this season, the Nets have lost a total of 102 games due to injury split among nine players. Through 49 games last season, the Nets had lost 51 games due to injury split among 10 players… The Nets are averaging 97.6 points for the season, but when they top 100 points they are 16-6.

TUNE IN

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