By Ketrell Marshall
March 28, 2013
KEY MATCHUP vs. KNICKS
Bismack Biyombo vs Kenyon Martin
20-year-old Bismack Biyombo has shown progression and development during his sophomore season. Biyombo is averaging close to a double-double with 8.3 points, 9.3 rebounds while continuing his defensive dominance with 2.00 blocks and 1.00 steal in his last three games. Biyombo is also connecting on 56.3 of his shot attempt in this three-game stretch. Biyombo’s high motor, length, athleticism and defensive presence could be beneficial for the Bobcats as he gets ready to play against a veteran in Kenyon Martin... Kenyon Martin has turned back the hands of time and shown he can still be effective in this league. In the past six games, he is averaging 11.7 points, shooting 72.1 percent from the floor, grabbing 6.3 rebounds and swiping away a steal. Martin is a high-energy and high-intensity player...If Biz is able to use his height and length to make it difficult for Martin to be effective, it could be key in securing a Bobcats victory.
KEY MATCHUP vs. SIXERS
Kemba Walker vs. Jrue Holiday
Kemba Walker has been a leader all season for the Bobcats and shown he is on the cusp of becoming an All-Star. Walker has scored in double-figures in 13 consecutive games and has been a consistent option for the Cats, scoring in double figures in 64 of 71 games this season, including 25 games with 20 points or more. Walker leads Charlotte in minutes (34.7), points (17.5), assists (5.6) and steals (2.01)…Walker will get to see how he matches up against a first time all-star in Jrue Holiday. The 6-4 point guard out of UCLA is having an excellent season in which he is the only player in the NBA to average at least 18.0 points and 8.0 assists. Holiday leads Philadelphia in minutes (38.4), points (18.4), assists (8.5) and is second on the team in steals (1.63). ...In the past six games, Holiday has been applying pressure to opposing ball handlers and has been highly skilled at playing the passing lanes leading to an average of 2.16 steals…This matchup will be fun to watch as two young, quick and exciting point guards face off. If Walker can win this matchup, it could be beneficial in leading to a Bobcats win.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS (17-54)
The Bobcats have won three out of their last five contests…There has been an offensive surge for the Cats. In the past five games, they are averaging 101.6 points. Compared to the Bobcats previous 66 games, in which they averaged 92.7 points…The play of Gerald Henderson has been a major factor in the Bobcats offensive boost. Henderson is averaging 23.1 points during this five-game span…The Cats have also made it a point to value each possession and are only committing an average of 11.9 turnovers over the past 13 games…Charlotte boasts their ability to use their length and athleticism to protect the rim and cause havoc on the defensive end. The Cats average 6.0 blocks (sixth in the NBA) led by Bismack Biyombo with 1.68.
SCOUTING THE KNICKS (44-26)
New York heads into their contest against Charlotte winning their last six outings by a margin of 12.0 points…New York takes pride in their ability to defend, ranking eighth in the NBA in points allowed (95.7). The Knicks are also ranked eighth in steals (8.39). New York’s defense does not reject many shot attempts. The team is only averaging 3.99 blocks earning them a ranking of 30th in the league… On the offensive end, New York scores 99.0 points per contest (11th in the NBA) led by Carmelo Anthony with 27.5. The Knicks have the ability to catch fire from downtown and convert from 3-point territory better than many other teams in the NBA. New York ranks eighth in 3-point percentage (.369) led by Steve Novack (.422)…The Knicks have not shown the ability to help other teammates score on a consistent basis. They are only averaging 19.3 assists (29th in the NBA). However, New York does take care of the basketball, only committing an average of 12.1 turnovers… The Bobcats ability to prevent the Knicks success from long range could be a major factor in determining the outcome of this matchup.
SCOUTING THE SIXERS (28-43 as of 3/28)
The Sixers have lost three of their last five contests and will take on Cleveland before hosting the Bobcats…Even though Philadelphia struggles to score at an elite rate (92.9 points), they do have five players who average double figures – Holiday (18.4), Thaddeus Young (15.1), Evan Turner (13.3), Nick Young (10.8) and Spencer Hawes (10.8) … The Sixers rank number one in assist-to-turnover ratio, averaging 22.9 assists (12th in the NBA) to only 13.2 (29th in the NBA) turnovers… Philadelphia does a good job of not allowing its opponents to score. The Sixers rank 11th in points allowed with 96.6.
Be sure to follow the Bobcats and their upcoming games as they travel to New York to take on the Knicks at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and head to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers at 8 p.m. on Saturday. You can watch the Cats on SportSouth or listen on WFNZ. Also, join the conversation by following the live in-game chat at bobcats.com or downloading the Bobcats app on your smartphone.
Chat Live vs. Sixers