Preview Wizards 1/6
Preview: Keys to Beat Wizards

By Matt Rochinski, bobcats.com

January 6, 2014

KEY MATCHUP vs. WIZARDS: Kemba Walker vs. John Wall

Kemba Walker enters the game against Washington leading the Cats in scoring (18.4 points), three-pointers made (55), assists (4.6) and steals (1.46). He pumped in a game-high 30 points, including four treys, and added six assists and four rebounds after seeing his string of 22-straight games scoring in double digits, the longest streak of his career, end on Dec. 2 in Portland. Walker has scored in double figures in 31 of 35 contests this season, including 15 games with 20 points or more. He scored 20 points or more in six-straight games from Dec. 14-23, recording the longest streak of his career and tying the third-longest streak in franchise history. In the past 11 games, Walker is averaging 21.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting from the field while knocking down 2.1 three-pointers each contest. He’s adding 4.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.50 steals… John Wall is averaging career-highs in points (20.2) and assists (8.8) this season, and prior to his 11-point performance on Jan. 3 against Toronto, had scored 20+ points in eight-straight games for the first time in his career. With 16 assists and only one turnover on Nov. 19 against Minnesota, he also became the first player to accomplish this since he did it against the Lakers last season. Wall also became the first player in franchise history to have a game with at least 26 points, 12 assists, six rebounds and five steals. He accomplished this feat in a 108-101 win on Nov. 30 over the Hawks. Whichever of these point guards has the bigger game could be the deciding factor in leading their team to victory.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS

Al Jefferson scored 27 points and hauled down nine rebounds on his 29th birthday and Kemba Walker added a game-high 30 points as the Cats snapped their five-game skid with a 113-103 victory on Dec. 4 in Sacramento. Jefferson has now also scored in double figures in 22-straight games – the Cats longest active streak and is averaging a double-double (21.1 points, 11.5 rebounds) while dishing out 1.6 assists and blocking 1.00 shot in his last 10 games. He’s had double-doubles in seven of those 10 contests… Charlotte set a new season high against the Kings, shooting 54.2 percent (45-for-83) from the field and surpassing the 52.4 percent it shot on Dec. 20 in Detroit… The win in Sacramento marked the Cats seventh road win of 2013-14, surpassing its total road wins (six) from the 2012-13 season… Chris Douglas-Roberts got his first start of the season against the Kings after coming off the bench to score a season-high 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range against the Blazers on Jan. 2. CDR scored 10 points to go with four rebounds and two assists and continues to see his minutes increase with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) and Jeffery Taylor (Achilles) sidelined. Head Coach Steve Clifford recently said MKG could return to the lineup as soon as Jan. 11 in Chicago… The Bobcats are giving up only 95.8 points per game, the third-lowest average in the NBA. Last season, the team allowed 102.7 points, 
ranking 29th in the league… The Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 24 of their 35 games this season, which is tied for the second-most such games in the NBA.

SCOUTING THE WIZARDS

Wizards have dropped three-straight contests following a six-game run at the end of December in which they posted a 5-1 record to pass the Cats in the standings. Washington had won five-straight games against Eastern Conference opponents prior to its 101-88 loss on Jan. 3 against Toronto… The Wizards rank fourth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage at .383. The team features three of the top 40 three-point shooters in the league. Bradley Beal leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at .448, which ranks him fourth in the NBA. Trevor Ariza is shooting a career-high .413 from beyond the arc, which ranks him 20th in the NBA. Martell Webster is shooting .400 from three-point range, which ranks 31st in the NBA this season… Through the first 31 games this season, the Wizards are averaging 23.0 assists, which ranks them eight in the NBA. John Wall leads the team with 8.8 assists which ranks third in the NBA behind Chris Paul (11.2) and Stephen Curry (9.6)… Newly acquired Wizard Marcin Gortat is making his presence felt in his first 31 games as a Wizard, Gortat is averaging 12.4 points and 8.4 rebounds. He has posted 10 double-doubles this season… In 26 games this season, Trevor Ariza is averaging career-highs in points (14.4), rebounds (5.6) and three-point field-goal percentage (.413).

TUNE IN

Tune in to SportSouth. The game can also be heard locally on WFNZ, on bobcats.com or on the Bobcats app.

LISTEN TO WFNZ BROADCAST LIVE FROM CHARLOTTE: QuickTime | Windows Media Player | iTunes | Real Player