Pistons at Bobcats Game Preview - Jan. 13, 2012
The inability to get stops has been the Charlotte Bobcats' biggest weakness this season.
The Detroit Pistons' woes stem from an inept offense.
In a meeting of two of the league's worst teams, the Bobcats and Pistons each seem to have a decent chance of fixing their primary problems Friday night in Charlotte.
The Bobcats (2-9) opened a back-to-back-to-back stretch Thursday with a 111-81 loss to Atlanta, their fifth straight defeat. The Hawks were playing without All-Star center Al Horford, but that didn't seem to make a difference as Charlotte was outrebounded 55-30 and outscored 52-38 in the paint.
"We're just kind of giving up now," coach Paul Silas said. "We have to learn from our losses. It doesn't seem as if that's happening. We just have to turn things around."
Allowing a league-worst 102.7 points, the Bobcats are seemingly letting opponents do as they please.
Charlotte could have better luck defensively against the Pistons, who are averaging 83.7 points - barely edging Washington's league-worst 83.6. Then again, Detroit could be the team finding its offensive stride against the vulnerable Charlotte defense.
The Pistons (2-9) are also coming off an offensive eruption by their own meager standards. Detroit reached the 90-point mark for just the second time this season Thursday at Milwaukee, but it wasn't enough as it fell 102-93 for its sixth straight loss.
"There are no consolation prizes, but there was a different spirit out there, a different fight out there," said coach Lawrence Frank, whose team dropped to 0-5 on the road.
Greg Monroe led the way Thursday with a career-high 32 points and season-best 16 rebounds. It was an encouraging performance for the second-year center, who is averaging a team-best 16.4 points.
"I just took what they gave me," Monroe said. "I was just able to knock down some open jump shots and get to the rim. I was just reading how they were playing me, trying to make plays and be patient."
Charlotte also received a solid outing from its center Thursday. In his first career start in his 37th game, Byron Mullens led the Bobcats with 21 points - 10.0 better than his season average coming in.
"That loss was too bad for me to keep my head up about how I played," Mullens said.
That was about the only positive for the Bobcats, as the rest of their starters combined for 33 points. D.J. Augustin, Charlotte's leading scorer with 15.4 points per game, was held to eight though he also had eight assists.
The Pistons managed a split of last season's four-game series despite Charlotte shooting better than 50 percent in each meeting.