Preview: Keys to Beat Nets
Preview: Keys to Beat Nets

By Jace Darling, bobcats.com

March 25, 2014

KEY MATCHUP vs. NETS: Kemba Walker vs Deron Williams

The season series has been a back and forth battle between the teams’ two point guards. In game one, Deron Williams was slowed with an ankle injury and only played 13 minutes while Kemba Walker was tremendous, scoring 31 points, shooting 60 percent from the floor (12-for-20), including 57 percent from three (4-for-7). Game two found the players very evenly matched. Walker posted 16 points, three rebounds and three assists and Williams chipped in 13 points, three boards and seven assists. In the loss one week ago, Walker tallied seven points, four rebounds and seven assists while his counterpart was simply dominant going for 25 points, three boards and eight assists. Given the way these two players have been back and forth against one another this season, the final meeting at home should live up to the billing as two of the league’s best young point guards square off. Walker has scored in double figures in 15 of his last 20 games, including eight games of 20 points or more. He is averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 35.6 minutes during the 20-game stretch. As a reward for his hard work, Walker was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, February 17 through Sunday, February 23. Walker led the Bobcats to the NBA’s only 4-0 record during the week, averaging 22.5 points, 8.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds in 40.5 minutes. Walker is averaging 17.7 points, 4.2 boards to go with 5.8 assists per contest this season. Since the All-Star break (16 games), Deron Williams has led the way for the Nets. Has registered at least one steal in 17-straight games, marking the longest active streak in the NBA, the longest Nets streak since Head Coach Jason Kidd registered at least one steal in 21-straight games (Nov. 2- Dec. 12, 2005). Williams has had six games of at least 20 points and had only five such games before the All-Star break. Williams reached 1,500 assists in 186 games with the Nets and became the fifth player in Nets NBA history to reach 1,500 assists with the team. The only Net player to achieve that feat in less games than Williams was Kidd, who made his 1500th assist in 160 games. Through 69 games this season Williams is averaging 14.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (34-37)

The Bobcats will face Brooklyn for the fourth and final regular season meeting on Wednesday at Time Warner Cable Arena. The season series stands at 2-1 in favor of Brooklyn, with the home team winning all three matchups… The Bobcats scored a season-high 124 points in Saturday’s win over Portland, posting the fifth-best single-game total in franchise history, while winning by a season-best 30 points, which is the fourth-largest margin of victory in franchise history. In that game, the Bobcats got big performances from Al Jefferson (28), Kemba Walker (26) and Gerald Henderson (23), who became the first trio in franchise history to each score 20-or-more points in the same game three times in one season. The three players combined for 77 points in the game and outscored the entire Trail Blazers team 74-73 through the first three quarters… The Bobcats had an impressive run this season that included an eight-game home wining streak from Feb. 11-March 14, which stands as the second-longest home win streak in franchise history… The Bobcats have topped the 100-point plateau in five of the last six home games and seven times during the stretch, and are averaging 103.9 points and 25.2 assists over the 10-game span… Al Jefferson has led the way for the Bobcats averaging 25.5 points and 9.8 rebounds, while Kemba Walker is averaging 19.1 points, 8.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds… The Bobcats are giving up only 97.2 points per game, which is the fourth-lowest average 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 (10.4) and the third- fewest points in the paint (38.5). They have held their opponent under 100 points in 46 of their 71 games this season, which is the fourth-most such games in the NBA.

SCOUTING THE NETS (37-32)

The season started slowly under first-year Head Coach Jason Kidd. Not only was the coaching staff all new so were many players after the preseason trade with the Celtics that brought in Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Brooklyn went 10-21 in the first two months and had many questioning whether or not Kidd could get the job done. That all changed as the calendar flipped to 2014 and The Nets started January 10-1 for the second-straight year and are just the second team in NBA history to start January 10-1 or better in back-to-back years (1995-96/1996-97 Chicago Bulls started 11-0 and 10-1). Kidd was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January after leading the Nets to a 10-3 (.769) record and their best January winning percentage in the franchise’s 38 NBA seasons… In 2014 to date, the Nets have compiled a 27-10 record, only three teams have better records in 2014 – the Clippers (28-4), Spurs (28-8) and Grizzlies (28-11)… Though winning has been consistent as of late one thing that has been in constant flux is the lineup for Brooklyn. The Nets have used 21 different starting lineups this season after using 13 different starting fives during the 2012-13 season. No Net has started all 69 games this season and only Alan Anderson has appeared in all 69 games. A total of 10 different players started at least one game for the Nets during the 2012-13 season. The Nets have used 13 different players as starters through the first 69 games this season. Through 69 games this season, the Nets have lost a total of 140 games due to injury split among 11 players. Through 69 games last season, the Nets had lost 63 games due to injury split among 11 players.

TUNE IN

This game can bee seen on Fox SportSouth and NBA League Pass or listen live via bobcats.com the Bobcats Mobile App presented by Walgreens or WFNZ 610am.

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