Bobcats will try to make team history vs. Hornets

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

With the playoffs out of reach and their draft lottery position unlikely to change, there aren’t many tangible things at stake from a Hornets perspective in Wednesday’s home game against the Charlotte Bobcats, other than the chance to play a spoiler role. For the Bobcats, however, Wednesday’s interconference matchup will be of major significance and could be a milestone evening for the young franchise. After knocking off the Atlanta Hawks by a 109-100 margin Tuesday, the Bobcats will have plenty on the line when they make their only visit of 2009-10 to the New Orleans Arena. Here are a couple things that can be accomplished in Wednesday’s game by the Bobcats:

• By registering victory No. 42, Charlotte (41-36) would guarantee itself a winning record for the first time in franchise history. The Bobcats - who sent their first player to the NBA All-Star Game in February when Gerald Wallace earned the honor - had never won more than 35 games in their previous five seasons of existence.

• Although the Bobcats can’t clinch the initial NBA playoff appearance in team annals on a victory alone over the Hornets, if the Raptors lose to the Hawks Wednesday, the Bobcats can seal a postseason trip (the Atlanta-Toronto game begins one hour earlier, so it should be over by around the third quarter of Charlotte-New Orleans). The Bobcats' likely eventual 2010 playoff berth would result in the first NBA postseason game contested in the state of North Carolina since 2002, the Hornets' final year in the Queen City.

• Wednesday's game also marks the first return to NOLA of center Tyson Chandler, a three-year member of the Hornets. Chandler’s first two seasons with the Hornets were the best of his professional career. Due to injuries, the 7-foot-1 pivot has missed 31 of 77 games this season, but has been healthy of late and has enjoyed his most productive stretch of 2009-10. Chandler had one of his best games as a Bobcat on Tuesday, posting 12 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes of action against the Hawks.