Preview 3/12 Inside
Preview: Keys to Beat Wizards

By Jace Darling, bobcats.com

March 12, 2014

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

Wednesday marks the second of three meetings between the Bobcats and Wizards. In the first meeting on Jan. 7 at Time Warner Cable Arena, the Wizards left Charlotte with a 14-point victory, 97-83. In that game Kemba Walker had 19 points, eight assists and three boards while his backcourt counterpart John Wall posted 17 points, eight assists, and two rebounds. Walker scored 24 points on Monday against Denver, has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 14 games and is averaging 16.4 points, 7.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 36.5 minutes during the 14-game stretch. Walker has scored in double figures in 48 of 57 games played this season, including 23 contests with 20 points or more and five games of at least 30 points. Walker was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 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 scored a game-high 31 points in the victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 22 and handed out a career-high 16 assists in the victory against Detroit on Feb. 19. He is the fourth player in franchise history to capture the award. Currently Walker sits at 17.9 points, 4.3 boards and 5.7 assists per contest… John Wall is averaging career highs in both points and assists with 19.5 and 8.8, respectively. During the stretch of games from Dec.14 - Jan. 1, Wall scored 20+ points in eight-straight games for the first time in his career. The fourth-year guard recorded his second career triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Boston on Jan. 22 and became the first player in franchise history to have a game with 21 points, 12 assists, five rebounds and no turnovers at Atlanta on Feb.19. John Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Feb. 24-Mar. 1, which was the second time this season and for the third time in his career. Wall also currently leads the NBA in total assists with 555.

SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (30-34)

The Cats recorded their seventh-straight home victory on Mar. 10 with a seven-point victory (105-98) over visiting Denver. This gave Charlotte the season sweep over the Nuggets for the first time in franchise history. The Nuggets are not the only team to be swept by the Cats this season. The Bobcats have also swept the season series with Detroit, Toronto, Golden State and Sacramento… Gerald Henderson has been out of the lineup for the last five games with a calf strain during his absence Chris Douglas-Roberts and Gary Neal have filled his place on the floor and have helped the Cats to a 3-2 record in those games. Henderson could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday in Washington, assuming Tuesday’s practice and Wednesday’s shootaround go well. … The road has been much kinder to Charlotte this season than in seasons past. The Bobcats have 12 road victories so far this season, doubling their total of six road wins from last season and just one shy of equaling the single-season franchise high… The Bobcats are giving up only 97.4 points per game, which is the fifth-lowest average in the NBA. After holding the Nuggets to 98 points on Monday, the Bobcats have held their opponent under 100 points in 41 of their 64 games this season, the third-most such games in the NBA… The Cats have thrived this season in close games, with 14 of the Bobcats 30 victories decided by six points or fewer, which is the most wins in the NBA in those games… Topping the 100-point plateau has been good for the Cats this season as well. The team is 18-4 overall and 10-1 at home when doing so. Make sure to join us for the Watch Party at Angry Ales, too.

SCOUTING THE WIZARDS (33-30)

Through 63 games this season, the Wizards are averaging 23.4 assists, which ranks them tied for sixth in the NBA. John Wall leads the team with 8.8 assists, which is second in the NBA to Ty Lawson… Guard Bradley Beal is having a very good sophomore season; he is second on the team in scoring with 17.0 points and has averaged 3.8 rebounds to go with 3.4 assists… Similar to the Bobcats, the Wizards also added a big man in the offseason, acquiring Marcin Gortat in a trade with Phoenix just before the season started (Oct. 25, 2013). Gortat has made his presence felt in his first 63 games as a Wizard, averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds and has posted 25 double-doubles this season including a career-high 31 point effort to go along with 12 rebounds at Toronto on Feb. 27… In addition to Gortat and Beal, the Wizards have four other players averaging double figures in scoring (John Wall, 19.7; Trevor Ariza, 15.2; Nene, 14.2; Martell Webster, 10.7)… Scoring over 100 points has also been good to the Wizards, as 23 of the Wizards 33 victories have come in such games… Washington has also amassed a record of 12-2 when shooting over 50 percent from the field.

TUNE IN

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